ANDERSON, Ind. – The Colts are more than halfway to the finish line in Anderson.
With an off day on Wednesday, the Colts are a week into Training Camp and have been on the practice field six times.
A handful of practices, sandwiched around the preseason opener this Sunday, remain during the camp portion at Anderson University. The team breaks came on Thursday, Aug. 11.
After three full-padded practices and a week in Anderson, what are the takeaways of camp so far?
Safety Depth Tested
The first major news of camp came on move-in day, when news broke of Clayton Geathers' foot injury sending him to the sidelines. Geathers is now a month into rehabbing that foot. He's migrated from sitting in a cart at practice, to standing on his walking boot. Geathers is listed as "week-to-week."
Without Geathers, the safety depth has been really tested due to a couple of other injuries in camp. Second-round pick T.J. Green missed three practices, but is now back in the starting lineup. This first-team work is extremely valuable for Green. We've seen starting nickel cornerback Darius Butler take ample first-team reps at safety. It remains to be seen when Geathers returns, if he can be ready to assume his expected starting role, next to Mike Adams.
Starting Position Battles Evolving
On Tuesday, we saw the Colts send out their first unofficial (ever-changing) depth chart. Hugh Thornton is listed as the starting right guard. But Tuesday night again told a different story. For the third straight practice, it was Denzelle Good absorbing the right guard workload with the starting unit. Going into Week Two, Good has taken those starting reps from Hugh Thornton.
At inside linebacker, things are not as clear. Sio Moore and D'Qwell Jackson are your listed starters and practice observations back that up. We are seeing plenty of Nate Irving though. Defensive coordinator Ted Monachino has mentioned using all three of those guys this season and that's been evident throughout camp. Unlike past years, the Colts could be using a trio of inside guys for those two spots.**
Practice highlights from day five of the Colts 2016 Training Camp.
Ryan Kelly's Development**
A shoulder strain from Ryan Kelly has kept him out of practice for the past two days. Unfortunately for Kelly that missed time has come in full padded sessions, too. Kelly is listed as "day-to-day" and the injury is not serious.
It would obviously benefit Kelly to get back to work on Thursday to have him get some run with the starters Sunday night. The Colts are still raving about Kelly and Anthony Castonzo said the rookie had no mental mistakes during the team's first camp practice.
Game Reps Coming For Andrew Luck, Starters
The Colts will be playing their starters in Sunday's preseason opener. Their stay on the field likely won't be long, but we will see them against the Packers.
While some teams elect to rest their lead guys in the Hall of Fame game, the Colts could use extra repetition. Andrew Luck missed nine games last season and hasn't been in a live setting since November. The installation of a new offense and defense makes preseason time rather valuable this season.**
Defensive Line Surprising**
It's a position group with so many variables in 2016. Ask Ted Monachino about the defensive line so far in camp and he views them as a definite surprise.
Arthur Jones is working with the reserves, before his suspension begins next month. Henry Anderson is on the PUP list and still in rehab mode. Without them, the line has caught the eyes of Monachino and Chuck Pagano. The play of veteran Kendall Langford and second-year interior lineman T.Y. McGill have been the headliners from that group.