INDIANAPOLIS – Week Three of the preseason is here and that means extended run for the first-team guys on Saturday night.
The Colts and Eagles will meet for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium.
What should fans be looking for when the Colts have their regular season dress rehearsal on Saturday night?
1. Dress Rehearsal
-Chuck Pagano would like his starters to play into the third quarter on Saturday night. It will also be the final time the lead guys see action this preseason. The next time fans will see Andrew Luck and company will be on Sept. 11 when the Detroit Lions come to Lucas Oil Stadium for the start of the regular season.
2. Cuts Looming
-It's a 90-man roster playing this week. Come Tuesday, the roster will have 75 players. Those 75 will then travel to Cincinnati on Thursday for the preseason finale. That 75 number will become 53 by next Saturday. The precious second half reps for those guys on Saturday will offer a lasting chance to put their imprint on film.
3. Who Plays Cornerback?
-Look below at the "will not play" list and you see six cornerbacks. That group is arguably six of the top seven cornerbacks on the roster. Darius Butler and Tay Glover-Wright will start on Saturday and there will be plenty of reps for those young corners to seize some more reps in the preseason finale. Antonio Cromartie will not play Saturday. His first action as a Colt will be in the regular season opener.
4. Clark's Opportunity
-With starting right tackle Joe Reitz (back) questionable for Saturday night, that could lead to third-round pick Le'Raven Clark sliding into the first-team lineup. Clark has had hardly any first-team action this offseason, so Saturday night would be key for his development. Chuck Pagano has challenged Clark and we will see if the long-armed rookie can show himself with the starters on Saturday.
5. Hilton Back With Luck
-Like last week, T.Y. Hilton has participated in practices this week. Saturday night should be the 2016 debut of Andrew Luck and Hilton working together. Hilton had to like what he saw last week in guys making plays after the catch, under Luck's direction.
6. Backup Running Backs
-This is a storyline that remains unsolved. It was Josh Ferguson in Week One of the preseason. Then Robert Turbin in Week Two. Those two and Jordan Todman appear to be the lead guys competing for the reps behind Gore. Expect Gore to play a little on Saturday night, before the backups slide into the starting offense.
*7. Finishing Pressures *
-We will not see Robert Mathis this preseason. So the Colts are still searching for pass rushing guys to emerge. The Colts haven't had a sack in the first half yet, so we will see if the edge guys can finish some plays on Saturday versus the Eagles.
*The following players will not play on Saturday night: DE-Henry Anderson (knee), CB-Jalil Brown (foot), CB-Antonio Cromartie (rest), CB-Vontae Davis (ankle), S-Clayton Geathers (foot), OT-Joe Haeg (ankle), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest), CB-Tevin Mitchel (hamstring), ILB-Sio Moore (hamstring), CB-Patrick Robinson (groin), CB-D'Joun Smith (ankle) and OG-Hugh Thornton (ankle). *
Starting RT-Joe Reitz (back) is questionable.