The Indianapolis Colts had their first afternoon practice of training camp on Saturday at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind.
All of the buzz surrounded the injury situation of Carson Wentz and how it now seems more than likely that the Colts’ starting quarterback will be out for the preseason, and possibly longer. Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said after practice that there was still no timetable and no new information regarding his injury status.
With Wentz out, that means Jacob Eason once again took the first-team reps at quarterback and continued to get some much-needed work with the starters.
Since my colleague Jake Arthur was not able to attend practice today, I stepped in and was able to take in the action from Grand Park. Let’s take a look at how the team did on Saturday.
- A new addition to the group that did not practice on Saturday was Kenny Moore II. Moore is dealing with a minor hip issue, but Eberflus said that he should be back soon. Cornerback Marvel Tell III (hip) and wide receiver J.J. Nelson (groin) also missed their first practice of camp. Defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth left in the middle of practice due to a left hamstring injury.
- The following players continued to miss practice due to injury: Wentz (foot), center Ryan Kelly (elbow), linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle), running back Nyheim Hines (hip), safety Shawn Davis (hip), and safety Rolan Milligan (undisclosed). Leonard and Hines got some work in with trainers on the sidelines at times, as both look like they are close to returning. Left tackle Eric Fisher (Achilles) also made an appearance working with trainers off to the side.
- Saturday marked the second day Eason was taking the first-team reps for the Colts offense. While he started slow and erratic, Eason got into a rhythm towards the end of practice finishing with my unofficial count of 8-of-15 passing (53.3%) for the day. We saw the good with Eason, including touchdown throws to Michael Pittman Jr., Jack Doyle, and Mo Alie-Cox, and the bad as he was intercepted twice with Bobby Okereke and E.J. Speed each coming down with a pick.
- This is Eason’s first time running with the starters on offense, and he knows how important these reps are for his development as the second-year quarterback is trying to make the most of it.
“It’s definitely different,” Eason said. “But at the same time it’s good for me as a player to get in there, get those reps, get that exposure, getting in and out of the huddle, seeing what’s going on in the defense. It’s definitely very different than it was last year and it happened quick but I’m very glad and fortunate to be getting these reps right now.”
- The quarterbacks behind Eason did not have memorable performances for the day. Jalen Morton took the snaps as the second-string quarterback and was able to deliver some shots down the field, most notably to wide receiver Parris Campbell. Another new quarterback took the field as Brett Hundley was signed just before practice Saturday. Hundley mostly worked with running backs and tight ends in team drills.
- Pittman continued his strong start to camp, consistently winning his one-on-one matchups and coming down with the ball. Pittman made multiple catches against starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and showed a strong physical presence while catching the ball. A welcome sight as Pittman looks to take a major leap for the Colts.
- The offensive line and running backs seem to be very in sync as giant holes opened up throughout practice. Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack both had success in-between the tackles and made some nice gains. Mack’s patient style of running and ability to find the correct hole is a work of art.
- Another Colts training camp practice, another day of Kylen Granson making plays. The rookie tight end out of SMU is going to have a role early in this offense, and the Colts are excited about what he can do.
- Sam Tevi was working as the starter at left tackle for the second consecutive day after Will Holden was working with the starters the first two days of camp. Tevi once again struggled with giving up pressure, especially when facing off against Kwity Paye. It’s still early in camp, but Holden seems to be performing the best of the two.
- Bobby Okereke has been one of the stars of training camp so far. After picking off Eason on Friday, Okereke came back and intercepted the second-year quarterback once again in what would have been another pick-6. One of the things that has been missing in Okereke’s game has been the ability to generate turnovers and big plays. He is certainly showing his playmaking ability throughout the early portion of camp.
- Young pass rushers were able to generate quite a bit of pressure once again on Saturday. Paye, Kemoko Turay, and Ben Banogu all showed fantastic burst along the line and were able to get in the backfield for sacks. At one point, Banogu generated two would-be sacks in a span of three plays as the third-year pro tries to show he belongs and can contribute on this defense.
- Ya-Sin has had his ups and downs through the first few days of camp, and today would be considered a down day. The third-year cornerback lost quite a few one-on-one battles with Pittman and got burned badly by T.Y. Hilton on what would have been a long touchdown if Eason had not overthrown Hilton by a half step. Ya-Sin stayed after practice and was getting extra work in on the field, but he must start having better performances otherwise his starting spot could very well be up for grabs.
Have thoughts on Day 4 of the Indianapolis Colts' 2021 training camp? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!
Miss Anything During Camp? We've Got You Covered!
- Day 1: First Look at Wentz, More
- Day 2: Wentz, Eason Make Strong Impression
- Day 3: Eason Gets First-Team Reps, Young Pass Rushers Shine
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