INDIANAPOLIS —Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday that Ryan Kelly, the team's starting center and its 2016 first-round draft pick, will make his 2017 season debut on Sunday, when the team plays host to the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Kelly has missed the first four games of the season due to a foot injury suffered during an Aug. 10 training camp practice, and was able to return to the practice field in a limited fashion last week.
](http://www.atipt.com/)But on Wednesday, Kelly was full-go. He gets the start on Sunday.
"He's going to have to knock some rust off just like Vontae's (Davis) first game," said Pagano, in reference to top cornerback Vontae Davis' return from injury last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. "It wasn't clean, it wasn't perfect. There are going to be some moments. I guarantee it – write it down. He'll be alright."
For his part, Kelly said "it's been tough to watch" the first four games of the season from the sidelines, but has tried to do his best to be a resource for undrafted rookie Deyshawn Bond, who started the first four games at center in Kelly's place. But Bond suffered a season-ending quad injury last Sunday against the Seahawks.
"(You) try to be there as best as I can for the guys, but unless you're actually really playing out there it's tough," Kelly said Wednesday. "You just kind of feel like you are not really a part of the team a little bit. It's obviously nice to be out there and be back with the guys."
When he returns on Sunday, Kelly will be working with a new quarterback: Jacoby Brissett, who has started the last three games for the Colts. Kelly said he fully anticipated a full "working week" getting back up to speed to establish that quarterback-center connection with Brissett prior to Sunday's game.
"Obviously, we haven't had a whole lot of reps together," Kelly said prior to Wednesday's practice. "But just in the walkthrough that we had so far, things look good. It's not something totally foreign to me to work with a new quarterback. He's really going to bust his (butt) and so am I."
Several others return
Kelly wasn't the only Colts player to make his full return to the practice field on Wednesday.
Those who were battling injuries of late but back to full status on Wednesday were running back Marlon Mack (shoulder), inside linebacker Anthony Walker (hamstring) and cornerback Chris Milton (hamstring).
Cornerback Quincy Wilson (knee) was also back on the practice field, albeit in a limited role, while quarterback Andrew Luck (right shoulder) also practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday for the first time this year.
Tight end Jack Doyle, who suffered a concussion against the Seahawks, wore a red non-contact jersey on Wednesday as part of the league's concussion protocol, Pagano said.
Here were some other interesting remarks from Wednesday's media availability:
• "Yeah, they're tough. They got a tough defense. I think they play very hard. When you watch the film, they don't look like an 0-4 team. We just got to go out, play four quarters and we should be fine." — Colts running back Frank Gore, on what he sees in the 49ers, Sunday's opponent.
• "I think just the conditioning level. I think trying to stay mentally into it the last four or five weeks in the O-line room. I try to stay into it mentally, just not losing that edge at all. I feel pretty confident in the game plan so far." — Colts center Ryan Kelly, on the toughest part of getting back to the field on Sunday for his 2017 debut.
• "You work harder. You keep working and try to make sure that you can look in the mirror at the end of the day and say, 'Okay, I gave it my all. I gave it 100 percent.' And I do feel very fortunate to be surrounded by really good people, and I think we're all pulling in the same direction and I'm very encouraged." — Quarterback Andrew Luck, on his mindset throughout his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery during times of frustration.**
Here is Wednesday's full injury report:
• DNP: Safety Matthias Farley (quad); cornerback Nate Hairston (quad); wide receiver Chester Rogers (hamstring).
• Limited: Tight end Jack Doyle (concussion); quarterback Andrew Luck (right shoulder); cornerback Rashaan Melvin (hamstring/ankle); cornerback Quincy Wilson (knee).
• Full: Center Ryan Kelly (foot); running back Marlon Mack (shoulder); cornerback Chris Milton (hamstring); inside linebacker Anthony Walker (hamstring).