Colts 2022 Training Camp Preview: Special Teams

Some of the fiercest competition during training camp will happen among players vying for a role on Bubba Ventrone's special teams units – including at kicker between Rodrigo Blankenship and Jake Verity. Check out what to watch for from the Colts' special teamers ahead of the start of training camp on July 27. 

Who's In

  • PK Jake Verity (signed as free agent)

Verity spent most of the 2021 season on the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad before signing with the Colts in February. He has a big leg – he once hit a 63-yard field goal in high school – and made 76 percent of his kicks during five collegiate seasons at East Carolina.

Who's Out

  • PK Michael Badgley (free agent)

Badgley stepped in for the injured Rodrigo Blankenship in Week 6 and connected on 18 of 22 field goals and 40 of 41 PATs over 12 games.

Who's Back

  • PK Rodrigo Blankenship (third year)
  • LS Luke Rhodes (seventh year)
  • P Rigoberto Sanchez (sixth year)

Blankenship suffered a hip injury in the Colts' Week 5 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and was placed on injured reserve after, which ended his season. Blankenship is 43/51 (84 percent) on field goal attempts and 50/53 (94 percent) on PATs in his two seasons with the Colts.

Rhodes earned first-team AP All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2021.

Sanchez was Pro Football Focus' fifth highest-graded punter last season.

What To Watch For

Last year, the Colts brought in former Chicago Bears kicker Eddy Piñeiro to push Blankenship during training camp. The competition went well – neither Blankenship nor Piñeiro missed a kick during camp practices, and as the incumbent, Blankenship earned the job.

Blankenship is still the incumbent but will be pushed this year by Verity. That'll be the most obvious competition, but hardly the only one Bubba Ventrone's special teams units.

The Colts will have to replace three of their six most-used special teams coverage players from 2021 in Matthew Adams (351 snaps), George Odum (336 snaps) and Jordan Glasgow (206 snaps). Special teams aces Zaire Franklin (350 snaps), Ashton Dulin (280 snaps) and E.J. Speed (276 snaps) all return, and the Colts added a couple of veteran special teams guys in Brandon King and Armani Watts in free agency.

But as you're looking at which players will make 53-man roster out of camp, keep an eye on who's working with punt return, kick return, punt coverage and kickoff coverage units. Those will be critical factors as the Colts shape their 2022 roster.

Training Camp Information

The Colts will return to Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield for training camp in 2022. Click here for a full schedule of practices open to fans. Free tickets will be required to attend, which can be obtained here. For more information on Colts 2022 Training Camp Presented By Koorsen Fire & Security, click here.

Statistically Speaking

Players since 1994 to record multiple punt block touchdowns in a single season:

  • Ed Reed (Ravens, 2002)
  • Ed Reed (Ravens, 2003)
  • Blake Countess (Rams, 2017)
  • Blake Countess (Rams, 2018)
  • E.J. Speed (Colts, 2021)

They Said It

"Rod was our kicker last year so in my mind, it's Rod's to – but it's an open competition. We're going in like at every position, really. There are guys who are on the depth chart – I would say Rod would be on the depth chart as the 'No. 1 kicker' right now, but is it a competition? Yes. Is it a competition at every position? Yes. We all understand what that means and what it doesn't mean, but it will be a competition. We certainly respect what Rod has done since he's been here." - Head coach Frank Reich

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