WESTFIELD, Ind. – There's nothing quite like a one-on-one period during a joint practice.
Maybe they're not quite game-like situations. But the competition dial gets turned all the way up in them, and it was no different during the Colts' Wednesday night joint practice with the Chicago Bears.
In particular, those one-on-one drills were a good test for the Colts' cornerbacks against a Bears' wide receiver corps featuring a couple of former 1,000-yard guys in D.J. Moore and Darnell Mooney.
The top battles came between Moore and Kenny Moore II. The Colts' Moore got the better of the Bears' Moore on one of them with a physical pass break-up; rookie cornerback Jaylon Jones had an interception and second-year corner Darrell Baker Jr. had a pass break-up, too.
Some other highlights, notes and observations from Wednesday night's practice:
- Quarterback Anthony Richardson made strides as the day went on. He threw an interception during an early seven-on-seven period, but closed out his evening with some zippy, on-time throws to wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs in a "move the ball" 11-on-11 period. The Colts knew these practices would be a challenge for Richardson and hoped to see growth both period-to-period and day-to-day from the rookie, who will be the team's starting quarterback for the 2023 season.
- Downs had an active day, and one of his receptions converted a fourth down during that "move the ball" period.
- Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie generated an explosive play with his agility and speed late in 11-on-11.
- Safety Nick Cross had two interceptions off tipped passes – one of which was batted in the air by cornerback JuJu Brents.
- Safety Rodney Thomas II intercepted a Justin Fields deep ball during 11-on-11.
- Cornerback Dallis Flowers swatted away a Fields pass intended for wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown during 11-on-11.
- Linebacker EJ Speed had a pass break-up on a Fields pass intended for running back D'Onta Foreman; he later blew up a quick pass with some downhill physicality.
- Arlington Hambright – who played left tackle on Saturday against the Buffalo Bills – tagged in at right guard after Will Fries was sidelined during practice.
- Center Ryan Kelly (foot) did not participate in practice. Tight end Drew Ogletree (shoulder) also did not participate.