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2021 Colts Training Camp Journal, Day 5: Eason/Wentz Update, Defense Thrives While O-Line Flounders

On Day 5 of Colts training camp, Jacob Eason continued as the first-team quarterback, and the offensive line had a rough day while the defense thrived.

The Indianapolis Colts returned to the practice field on Monday after their first players' day off of camp on Sunday.

There was a huge individual return to the field also as head coach Frank Reich cleared the COVID-19 protocol and was able to coach the team in person.

With quarterback Carson Wentz still out, it was another banner day for the defense as the Colts get things figured out.

While I was not able to be in attendance on Monday, I collected notes from some of my colleagues who were there. Make sure to catch the Twitter accounts of Jim Ayello, George Bremer, Joel Erickson, Stephen Holder, and Zak Keefer for more.

I will be back at Grand Park Sports Campus on Tuesday for more practice sessions.

TEAM

— It was a big return for both Reich and the Colts, one that he described as the first 20 minutes being "pretty special." After practice, he was seen giving the team a fiery address in what is his first in-person speech to them of camp. While he said overall the message was positive, he reiterated that every player on the roster will play an important role at some point in the season and that the team cannot tolerate mistakes.

— Running back Nyheim Hines (hip), linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle)Cornerbacks Kenny Moore (hip) and Marvell Tell III (back) both returned to practice after missing Saturday's session. Fellow cornerback T.J. Carrie was also in attendance after clearing the COVID-19 protocol. Guard Quenton Nelson briefly left the field with what was speculated as a lower-body injury but would later return much to the relief of, well, everyone.


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason (9), with Sam Ehlinger (4), and Jalen Morton, throws at Grand Park in Westfield on Monday, August 2, 2021, on the second week of workouts of this summer's Colts training camp. Head Coach Frank Reich reappeared at practice after being away for ten days after a COVID-19 positive test. Colts Get Their Coach Back On Week Two Of Colts Camp

OFFENSE

— As mentioned, Wentz remains out, but we got an update from Reich after practice. Wentz is set to have surgery on his left foot on Monday at 4:00pm ET. His recovery is expected to take anywhere from 5 to 12 weeks, and the Colts will have a better idea of that timeline after the first few weeks. Wentz will be able to throw and participate in walkthroughs as he rehabs.

— Reich told second-year quarterback Jacob Eason "it's your show" after the Colts knew Wentz would be out for his surgery. On Monday, Eason was 13-of-18 passing (72.2%) with no touchdowns or interceptions (H/T Bremer). It was another practice with a heavy run game and quite a few short passes and checkdowns. However, there was a couple of significant pass plays as Eason found Michael Pittman Jr. deep downfield on a corner route as Pittman leaped up and caught the ball with heavy coverage from Tell. Eason also converted a big third down to T.Y. Hilton.

— Things were ugly overall for the offensive line, but especially while Nelson was being tended to by trainers. Joey Hunt and Jake Eldrenkamp rotated at left guard while Sam Tevi continued to get some reps at left tackle. After some allowed pressure and penalties, the end result was the offensive line running sprints after practice.

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Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart (90) prepares to line up to stretch Saturday, July 31, 2021. during practice.

DEFENSE

— The defense has been outstanding all camp, but especially with Wentz out. On Monday, their constant harassment of the offensive backfield continued, resulting in some would-be sacks from Grover Stewart and Kemoko Turay, particularly. Rookie first-round pick Kwity Paye also continued his high level of play.

— There were a few stand-out defenders in the second and third levels as well. Linebacker E.J. Speed has been filling in for Leonard at WILL linebacker while Leonard rehabs from an ankle procedure. Speed showed off his range and quick change of direction in coverage. 

— A pair of safeties forced turnovers on Monday. First, Khari Willis punched the ball out of running back Jonathan Taylor’s grasp, and Willis also jumped on the ball to recover the fumble. Backup safety Sean Davis also intercepted new quarterback Brett Hundley during live drills. Linebacker Skai Moore would've had a sack on the play if not for the throw.


What did you think of Day 5 of #ColtsCamp? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!


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