Hello, Colts fans. Over the holiday weekend, while we were grilling burgers, and watching parades and what not, the Colts made their second round of cuts followed by a small flurry of activity at the bottom of the roster, including yesterday’s trade and the signing of talented but troubled wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers to the practices squad.
Now, with the team beginning preparations for their September 8 season opener against the Oakland Raiders, we’re going start right off with injury updates. (more after the jump)
Injury Updates: Bradshaw, Castonzo and Others Expected to Play
As the fog lifted over Eagle Creek yesterday morning, the Colts were hard at work, and that means we have injury updates. Head Coach Chuck Pagano said he plans to play RB Ahmad Bradshaw, but he sounded as though they may limit his snaps. Bradshaw sounded excited to get back on the field. “Always, man, I’m always ready,” he said. “I’m ready to go. Everything feels great and I’m full-go.”
Mike McGlynn is expected to start too, as he tries to fend off rookie Hugh Thornton at right guard. Dwayne Allen practiced yesterday as well and was “full-go” according to Pagano, which certainly is a good sign.
As far as the rest, “Anthony Castonzo is supposed to be ready and rolling by Thursday,” Pagano said. “Should have him out there by Thursday and should make the game. Kavell (Conner) is better today than he was. He came in and we initially thought it might be a week or so, but he looked really good today. He didn’t practice but he’s day-to-day.
“(Coby) Fleener practiced. David Reed, he’s still going through the protocol with the concussion. He’ll be day-to-day and going through that process. I don’t know if there’s anybody else that I missed.”
If Castonzo isn’t ready by Sunday, Pagano said Joe Reitz will start at left tackle. As for recently concussed KR David Reed, Pagano has a couple options in mind to fill in. “Well,” he said, “Cassius (Vaughn) has done it and Joe (Lefeged) has done it for a long time so Joe Lefeged is a guy. We’re getting those guys plenty of work just in case that happens.”
Heyward-Bey Stays on the High Road
For the past several seasons, Oakland, the Colts week 1 opponent and Darrius Heyward-Bey’s former team, has been steeped in uncertainty and instability. After three straight winning records in the early 2000s, the Raiders have gone 49-111 over the past ten seasons, during which time; they’ve had seven different head coaches.
During DHB’s stint by the Bay, he played in three different offenses in as many seasons. Suffice to say, Indianapolis looks the part of a more positive, stable situation. But don’t worry about Heyward-Bey causing any bulletin board material by disparaging his former team. “Nah. I have nothing bad to say anyway. No, not at all,” he said.
“It was a good experience,” Heyward-Bey said of his time in Oakland. “We had a lot of good times and we had some difficult times. I had a lot of great teammates, great coaches. I learned a lot over there.”
Considering all that change, Heyward-Bey has a positive, accountability-oriented spin for that as well. “It was definitely difficult at the beginning, but I’m used to it,” he said. “You just have to adapt. That’s what football is out there on the football field. You’re thinking, ‘They’re going to have Cover-Two. But then they’re doing this.’ You just got to adapt and make it work for yourself.”
As far as week one against his former team, DHB sounded similar to former Colts coach Tony Dungy. “No, just Week 1, just another game,” Heyward-Bey said. “The season is about to start, so it’s special for the NFL, but it’s just another week.”
Just another week for him, maybe.
Robert Mathis on facing dual threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who won the starting job in Oakland, sending Matt Flynn to the bench for the second straight year: “Yeah, he’s a dual threat so you got to keep him boxed in as much as you can. But you can’t forget about (Darren) McFadden at all.”
Andrew Luck on whether he’s more relaxed for the opener than he was a year ago: “Yeah, a little bit. Just by virtue of having played an NFL game. Knowing what pregame is like, knowing who runs out of the tunnel and where, things of that nature. Again, it’s still very exciting.”
TE Jack Doyle on finding out he had been claimed off waivers by the Colts: “I found out I got cut by the Titans Saturday morning. I was actually going into the Titans facility to sign with their practice squad Sunday morning and figured out I had been claimed by the Colts. So it was definitely a lot of emotions. I was kind of shocked but I was really excited. Like I said, very thankful for the opportunity and try to make the most of it.”
Doyle on coming back to Indianapolis: “To be coming to your hometown, that’s crazy. There’s 31 other teams. It’s crazy how it all is playing out right now.”
Ahmad Bradshaw on whether he still gets nervous for a season opener (different players go in different directions on this type of question – I really liked his answer): “No, I don’t get nervous. This is what I’ve been doing for 21 years, man. Like I said, I love this game. I love the contact. A lot of people get nervous over the contact and different things but I love it. There’s nothing that can surprise me and I just look to be ready.”
All quotes are courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts PR Department.