Secondary Burning Questions Heading Into Colts Training Camp

Intro: We are a little less than two weeks away from the start of the Colts 2017 Training Camp. Our burning questions series is back, with the seventh position look at the defensive backs.

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INDIANAPOLIS –The Colts 2017 Training Camp is a little less than two weeks away.

On Saturday, July 29, the Colts will report to work at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, for their first Training Camp "at home" since moving to Indy in 1984.

Over the next week and a half, Colts.com will take a look at the "Burning Questions" for all position groups heading into the 2017 Training Camp.

Here's a look at the secondary burning questions with the 2017 season nearing:

  • How will the safety duo play out?

At the end of minicamp, a starting duo of Darius Butler and Matthias Farley lined up next to each other.

With Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker sidelined, the Colts threw some other bodies into the mix at safety this spring.

Hooker is expected to be back for Training Camp. Despite a lack of experience, Hooker's playmaking ability is too precious to keep off the field.

If healthy, Geathers (neck) has to be the favorite to start next to Hooker. But projecting when Geathers will be back to 100 percent is anyone's guess after he had March surgery on his neck.

That's where things get a bit murky at safety.

With the uncertainty on Geathers possibly keeping him off the field, Butler has to be next in line to start.

Sub packages will be aplenty involving the defensive backs with the health and readiness of Geathers and Hooker dictating how frequent and various those groupings will be in 2017.

STAT TO NOTE: Since joining the Colts in 2012, Vontae Davis has started 71-of-80 games.

  • Will Quincy Wilson do enough to find his way into the starting lineup?

When the offseason program concluded in mid-June, veteran Rashaan Melvin had staved off everyone as the starting cornerback opposite Vontae Davis.

Quincy Wilson will try to change that in August.

The second-round pick from Florida ended the minicamp on a strong note and should definitely get a chance to compete for the open corner job.

Melvin played solid in game action last season and clearly did enough in the spring to get the first look at the No. 2 corner spot come camp.

Besides Melvin and Wilson, guys like Chris Milton, Tevin Mitchel and Darryl Morris (slot corner) should be next up for cornerback reps.

STAT TO NOTE: Per Pro Football Focus, Wilson's quarterback rating allowed last season was 29.9, the lowest for any SEC cornerback.

  • Should we expect to see Darius Butler play corner and safety?

Count Chris Ballard as a fan of Darius Butler after the team's offseason program.

Ballard saw why Butler has been a valuable secondary member for the past five seasons with the Colts.

But Butler's role in 2017 remains unanswered due to the absences of Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker this spring.

In one sense, Butler might be too solid to keep off the field, given his high football intellect and ability to find the football.

In the other, the Colts would love if their young safety duo (Hooker/Geathers) was paired together this Training Camp.

Even if Butler isn't in the starting 11 for the regular season, he should still see plenty of playing time in sub packages.

Safety is how Butler is listed on the roster, but some spot duty at nickel cornerback has not been ruled out either.

STAT TO NOTE: In five seasons with the Colts, Darius Butler has 12 interceptions and six forced fumbles.

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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