Colts Week Three OTA Notebook: Andrew Luck Will Miss Entire OTAs For Third Straight Year
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INDIANAPOLIS – Well, so much for that fully healthy offseason for Andrew Luck.
The ‘minor’ calf strain Luck suffered earlier this offseason will keep him out of all 10 OTA sessions this spring, Frank Reich said on Tuesday afternoon.
The Colts have ruled Luck out for a third straight week of OTAs, as they are treating any ‘minor’ issue right now like it’s something ‘major’ in terms of rest.
“It’s killing him (to be sitting out). He could be out there,” Reich said of Luck on Tuesday. “But you have to take these things serious. You have to trust it. I trust the process of everybody we have in the building working on it and trust that we’ll make the best decision for the team.”
Reich said Luck has been spending extra time in the meeting room to try and make up for the absence of physical reps this spring.
Just one week remains in the Colts offseason program, a mandatory three-day minicamp next Tuesday-Thursday.
It’s no guarantee that Luck will be on the field for that.
“I’m hoping he’ll be out there next week,” Reich said on Tuesday. “I had a conversation with him the other day before we made this decision. So just playing it out, him and I sat there, ‘If this plays out that we don’t take a snap, it’s okay. It’s not earth shattering. It’s not a big news story as far as what we are doing as a team and what we are doing offensively.”
Besides Luck, here is a notebook look from Week Three of OTAs:
- The Colts again opened up in a nickel defense on Tuesday with the following 11 guys ‘starting’: DE-Justin Houston, DT-Margus Hunt, DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad, DT-Denico Autry, LB-Zaire Franklin, LB-Anthony Walker, CB-Quincy Wilson, CB-Pierre Desir, CB-Kenny Moore, S-George Odum and S-Malik Hooker. LB-Matthew Adams, S-Matthias Farley, CB-Nate Hairston and rookie DE/LB-Ben Banogu rotated in at times.
- The Colts began Tuesday in a three wide receiver set with the following 11 guys ‘starting’: LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Mark Glowinski, RT-Braden Smith, TE-Mo Alie-Cox, WR-Zach Pascal, WR-Devin Funchess, WR-Chester Rogers, RB-Marlon Mack, QB-Jacoby Brissett. After participating the last two weeks, WR-T.Y. Hilton was not on the field Tuesday.
- Tuesday brought news of the first significant injury of the spring. Frank Reich said after practice that rookie C/G-Javon Patterson tore his ACL and will miss the 2019 season. Patterson was a seventh round pick out of Ole Miss and was competing for a 53-man roster spot as a reserve. To replace Patterson on the 90-man roster, the Colts signed OG-Nico Siragusa, who is not related to Tony Siragusa. Nico was a 4th round pick in 2017 of the Baltimore Ravens.
- Compared to last Wednesday’s open OTA session, Jacoby Brissett was more accurate on Tuesday. Although things were quiet in the target/reception department for Devin Funchess.
- Chester Rogers made the most of no T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell at practice on Tuesday. Rogers made a couple ‘out of his expected radius’ type of grabs, and some even well down the field. “I think Chester’s spring has been really good, I mean really good,” Reich said after Tuesday’s session. Rogers is probably currently on the right side of the 53-man roster bubble, but that can definitely change with the competition among that group.
- Speaking of that wideout competition, here is what Reich had to say about that on Tuesday: “Last year at this time it wasn’t as deep. I think those battles were starting in some ways to declare themselves a little bit, even though you know deep down you have to wait until Training Camp. But this year, there’s definitely more depth there. There’s a lot of guys we have a lot of confidence in. We will let it all play out. Guys are going to get a lot of reps and it’s going to come down to who can stay healthy, who can be consistent and who can contribute on special teams for that 4th and 5th spot.”
- One final note on the WR depth chart: Tuesday was an up and down day for Reece Fountain. He bounced back from an early drop to make a few notable plays. But he was behind guys like Steve Ishmael and Marcus Johnson in getting reps following ‘starters’ Devin Funchess, Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal. After Tuesday’s practice, Reich shared this on Fountain’s growth from Year One to Year Two: “He’s playing physically with more explosiveness. He’s made more big plays. His route running has gotten a lot better, a lot better. A lot of the tapes we cut up and show to the team and show to the offense has been Reece making big plays, so really pleased with the progress he has made from last year to this year. Like we just said, in that spot, he has to continue to make that same growth with his special teams contribution.”
- Nate Hairston, who was an initial starter for the Colts in 2018 before being demoted, did intercept Jacoby Brissett late in practice. Hairston is currently in the dime package for the Colts as he tries to secure a spot on the 53-man roster. In the spring, Hairston has received more reps than Jalen Collins or Rock Ya-Sin, as the current ‘4th’ Colts cornerback.
- While we still wait to see more and more rookie action with the starters, Tuesday offered a bit more time in sub packages for DE-Ben Banogu and LB-Bobby Okereke. This isn’t a huge surprise given their skillsets and projection into the 2019 Colts defense.
- Yes, that’s a ‘DE’ designation for Banogu. Remember, the last two weeks we’ve noted that Banogu was working much more at defensive end, compared to linebacker. Well, Reich confirmed that on Tuesday. “It started out more linebacker than it was, let’s make it a little bit of both and now he’s really been flashing at defensive end, so there’s been an emphasis there,” the head coach said. If Banogu is thought of as more of a defensive end, you wonder how that impacts things for a guy like Kemoko Turay in Year Two. Banogu played D-end in college, but the thought was he would be a SAM linebacker on early downs with the Colts. This will be something to watch later in the summer.
- Top draft picks CB-Rock Ya-Sin (personal) and WR-Parris Campbell (physical) both watched Tuesday’s OTA. Both guys had participated in the first two open OTA sessions.
- In a break from the ‘voluntary’ part of the offseason, the Colts went rock climbing on Monday morning. “We thought that was an appropriate team activity given the climbing theme we talked about all last year,” Reich said. And the head coach crowned these three guys as the team’s top rock climbers: LS-Luke Rhodes, WR-Devin Funchess, S-George Odum.
- Tuesday's special guest at practice was Tarik Glenn. The Pro Bowl left tackle joined Howard Mudd in the 77-year-old coach's golf cart as they motored around practice.
- Reminder, here’s a look at some of the injured guys expected to be dialed back this spring. On Tuesday, guys sidelined included: WR-Deon Cain, TE-Jack Doyle, TE-Eric Ebron, S-Clayton Geathers, WR-T.Y. Hilton, LB-Darius Leonard, QB-Andrew Luck, DE-Jabaal Sheard, TE-Ross Travis, DL-Jihad Ward.
- Some of the guys that have dealt with injuries, but participated on Tuesday included: LB-Matthew Adams, S-Matthias Farley (red jersey), S-Malik Hooker, DE-Justin Houston, CB-Chris Milton, LB-Anthony Walker, RB-Spencer Ware.
- The Colts will have 2 final OTA sessions this week, before a three-day mandatory minicamp ends the offseason program next Tuesday-Thursday.