The Indianapolis Colts have begun training camp with players reporting on July 23rd and the first practice beginning the following day. While there isn’t much to be excited about after the first day of practice, there is reason for optimism after what has been shown the first day.
After having his 2013 season end early due to an ACL injury, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne is back on the field as he was cleared to practice for the start of training camp. Having Wayne on the field to work with quarterback Andrew Luck again and be a mentor for receivers like T.Y. Hilton and rookie Donte Moncrief is something the Colts should be glad to see. While Wayne was not fully involved the entire practice, it is a good sign for the Colts to see Wayne back in action. The Colts are going to limit the amount of work Wayne puts in during camp to make sure he has an easy transition back into the swing of things.
Bjoern Werner taking first team reps
With Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis being suspended for the first four games of the regular season due to a violation of the leagues ban of performance-enhancing substances, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner has been taking a majority of the first team reps so far in camp. With Werner entering his second year after his rookie season didn’t pan out so well, the 23-year-old linebacker has looked sharp and on top of his game early on. The first day of practice during 11-on-11 work, Werner intercepted a pass from Luck that was deflected by middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. Werner didn’t stop there as he was able to tip a pass of his own that was thrown by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and was intercepted by defensive end Cory Redding.
According to Colts.com, safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Vontae Davis were held out of practice due to precautionary reasons. While this is most likely nothing serious and both are expected to practice very soon, the absence of these veteran players is something the Colts weren’t hoping to start out with this soon into camp. Both are huge assets on a defense that has a lot to prove this season.
Vick Ballard carted off
Just under a year since tearing his ACL, running back Vick Ballard was cleared to practice. That return was cut short however as Ballard has injured his ankle as reported by ProFootballTalk.com. The report says that Ballard was unable to put any pressure on his left ankle. Ballard is expected to compete for the running back job against running backs Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw.
There have been many impressions made early on in training camp as the Colts look to do something they haven’t done since 2006; win a Super Bowl title.