@ New York Jets, 7 PM EST
While we’re still a few weeks away from the regular season, this will be an early test for the Colts to see where they stand. Under Head Coach Rex Ryan, the Jets have always had a very formidable defense and are a well-coached team. It’s uncertain how much each team’s first units will actually play, but it’ll be a good way for both teams to shake some of the offseason rust and get back into full-fledged football. Practice and drills are great training tools, but they’re still far from the real thing. The speed and physicality is totally different.
What to Expect:
- The Colts have already determined that Reggie Wayne will sit this one out, but what we don’t know is how long Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, and the rest of the offense plans on playing. In an ideal world, the Colts score on their first few possessions, and the key starters can gain some reps without taking any licks, exiting early.
- With Kelvin Sheppard injured in Monday’s practice, the Colts’ linebacking depth is a bit thin, as Rookie Andrew Jackson and Josh McNary are already out. The Colts will have no intentions of playing projected starters Jerrell Freeman and D’Qwell Jackson extensively. Still, it will be a great opportunity for unknowns like Henoc Muamba, Shawn Loiseau, and Jonathon Sharpe to make an impression. While the aforementioned will most likely make their mark on special teams if they make the roster, it never hurts to show coaches that you can be called upon in a pinch to actually play with the defense.
Things to Watch:
- How comfortable does OG Jack Mewhort look out there? He’ll be the starter if he comes out of the preseason looking strong.
- Is it Delano Howell or Mike Adams at FS for the Colts? Youth or experience?
- Will Hakeem Nicks shape into form and gel with Luck adn the offense?
- Behind Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, and Darius Butler, who’s the 4th CB? Talented undrafted free agent Loucheiz Purifoy? Given Toler’s injury history, that player may be called upon a great deal in 2014.
- Who can assume the 3rd RB role with Ballard out for the season? Is it Daniel “Boom” Herron or Zurlon Tipton? Both have been impressive.
- How smooth does Rookie Wideout Donte Moncrief look returning punts? If he looks good, he’ll be the guy.
- How does undrafted free agent Zach Kerr look as the 3rd NT? It’s a depth spot that someone will have to fill, and he’s the early favorite.