The Colts rookies have dominated the headlines the past few weeks.
While Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week) continue to set rookie records, first-year teammates Vick Ballard and Dwayne Allen remain integral figures in the starting lineup.
Could tight end Coby Fleener be joining his fellow rookies on Sunday?
“I’m ready to be back,” Fleener said prior to practice on Wednesday. “I’ve been excited to be back for quite a while now and to be back on the practice field (Wednesday) will be exciting.”
Fleener has been on the sideline since injuring his shoulder in the first half of the Colts 19-13 overtime victory over the Titans on Oct. 28.
In the first seven games of the season, Fleener caught 21 passes for 222 yards.
While the Colts are in the midst of winning five of their past six games, Fleener has found himself merely as an observer.
“It’s been tougher to just sit in the training room all day and just do shoulder exercises and stuff like that. To see the team have success is exciting but at the same time, you want to be out there with your buddies,” he said.
Sunday could be that chance for Fleener to return to the playing field.
Last week, Fleener was limited in practice but he was a full participant on Wednesday and now he hopes all those mental reps over the past month turns into physical ones this weekend.
“You stay in the meeting room with the team and you go through all the mental preparation if you were playing,” Fleener said. “Obviously, the physical ailment didn’t allow me to do that but now I’m full go ahead.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
Cassius Vaughn doesn’t consider Calvin Johnson the ‘ideal receiver.’
No, that praise would be selling Johnson short.
Instead, Vaughn uses another term to describe the 6-foot-5-inches, 236-pound Johnson.
“No, the ideal receivers are the other guys. Calvin is a ‘freak of nature.’ He’s the total package,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn and the Colts secondary will try and limit the league’s leading receiver at 1,257 yards.
Johnson is averaging 114.3 receiving yards per game and is looking for his fifth straight game over 100 receiving yards.
“(Johnson) brings everything,” cornerback Darius Butler said. “If you want to go create a receiver on Madden that’s going to look like Calvin Johnson. He brings everything to the table so we are going to have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
Last season, Johnson and the Lions ended a playoff drought dating back to 1999 with a 10-6 record and an appearance in the NFC Wild Card.
At 4-7, Johnson acknowledged that this season hasn’t gone as planned but heading into the final month of the season the Lions mindset remains the same.
“Guys are still pushing. That hasn’t changed here in practice or anything like that,” Johnson said. “That’s the thing I like about what’s going on right now. Even though, we are not where we thought we should be at right now, at this point of the season, guys are still working their butts off.”
The Colts defensive backs weren’t afraid to share their praise of Johnson and the All-Pro receiver appreciated the kind words from the guys he will line up across from Sunday.
“You play to be the best. You play to win the Super Bowl. You play to compete,” Johnson said. “If you do that and you’re taken seriously, and find something to work on day-in-and-day-out than you can achieve that.”
In trying to defend Johnson, the Colts secondary is hoping to get the services of cornerback Vontae Davis back this weekend.
Davis has been on the sideline for the past four weeks and with him and Jerraud Powers out of the lineup, it’s been Vaughn and Butler filling the void.
No matter who the Colts place in the backend of the defense on Sunday, trying to neutralize Johnson is a gargantuan task.
“You just have to be on your Ps and Qs, your fundamentals and techniques,” Butler said. “Obviously (Johnson) has a size mismatch on pretty much every (defensive back) out there but you just have to put yourself in a position to make a play on the ball.”
Tags: Cassisu Vaughn, darius butler, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog
Week-after-week Reggie Wayne continues to find himself moving up the ranks of the game’s greatest receivers.
Wayne 1,105 yards receiving this season marks the eighth time in his career he has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.
He needs six receptions to pass Andre Reed (951) for the 10th most catches in NFL history.
With 84 catches and 1,105 receiving yards this year, Wayne is putting together one of his finest NFL seasons.
Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians implemented a new offense in the offseason and credits the dedication of Wayne to learn all the nuances of an innovative system for his production.
“He’s basically a rookie in this offense with all the things that we’re asking him to do,” Arians said. “I think it’s revitalized him and he’s excited about doing all those different things.”
Lining up at a variety of positions for the first time in over a decade, Wayne’s versatility is showing in his 12th NFL season.
“You can’t ask Reg to do too many different things because he’s gutting it out blocking. He’s doing cut off blocks, going backside, blocking defensive ends. He’ll do whatever we ask him to do,” Arians said. “He knows he’s going to get the football and we are going to put him in positions to get him the football.”
Arians said the young Colts offense has ‘taken him back about 10 years’ but the 34-year old Wayne has also made things enjoyable for the Indianapolis offensive coordinator.
Looking into the future, Arians is hoping to find himself in Canton, Ohio one day watching Wayne get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For now though, Arians is living in the present and he couldn’t be happier with how this team has grown up over the course of the season.
“We’ve got great veteran leadership and the young guys are doing everything they can to make sure Robert (Mathis), Dwight (Freeney) and Reggie, Cory (Redding) they all get into the playoffs again,” Arians said.
Tags: bruce arians, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today signed safety Delano Howell from the Buffalo Bills practice squad to the Colts active roster and announced that guard Seth Olsen will return to practice. Olsen will remain on Injured Reserve during this time.
The Colts will have up to three weeks from today to elevate Olsen to the 53-man active roster or he will remain on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.
Howell, 5-11, 201 pounds, has appeared in one game this season, making one tackle with the Buffalo Bills. He was originally signed by the Bills as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford on April 30, 2012. He was waived on October 13 and signed back to the active roster on October 15. Howell was then waived on November 9 and signed to the practice squad on November 12.
At Stanford, Howell started 33-of-43 games played and finished with 242 tackles (174 solo), seven interceptions and 19 passes defensed. As a senior in 2011, he was a First Team All-Pac-12 Conference selection after finishing with 52 tackles, four passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
Olsen, 6-5, 305 pounds, has played in 12 games (four starts) in his career. He started at left guard for the first three games this season before being placed on Injured Reserve on October 8, 2012. Olsen was originally acquired by the Colts from waivers on September 12, 2011.
Tags: roster move
Posted in Colts Blog