Injuries and inconsistent play from the quarterbacks and offensive line have shaped the first several days of Indianapolis Colts training camp, but Wednesday was much better.
Quarterback Jacob Eason took the reins and looked much less scattered than in recent performances. There were also a few big plays in the passing game, and some receivers showed off their route-running skills in 1-on-1s.
All that and more in Wednesday’s Day 7 “Colts Training Camp Journal.”
— The following players did not participate in practice Tuesday: QB Carson Wentz (foot), WR Tarik Black (undisclosed), WR J.J. Nelson (groin), WR Ashton Dulin (hamstring), RB Jordan Wilkins (hamstring), S Shawn Davis (hamstring), DB Rolan Milligan (hamstring), LB Darius Leonard (ankle), LB Skai Moore (back), G Quenton Nelson (foot), LB Jordan Glasgow (back), DE Damontre Moore (knee), C Ryan Kelly (elbow), TE Mo Alie-Cox (knee), TE Noah Togiai (knee), DT Taylor Stallworth (hamstring).
— S George Odum (undisclosed) and OL Danny Pinter (illness) both returned to the field after missing Tuesday’s practice.
— In 1-on-1 drills pitting wide receivers/tight ends vs. defensive backs, the defense won by a score of 15 reps to 14. I scored an offensive win by catches and defensive wins by any incompletion. Here’s how it went: Mike Strachan def. Rock Ya-Sin; Anthony Chesley def. DeMichael Harris; Khari Willis def. Jack Doyle; Zach Pascal def. Kenny Moore II; Isaiah Rodgers def. Quartney Davis; Nick Nelson def. Tyler Vaughns; Farrod Green def. Andre Chachere; T.J. Carrie def. Dezmon Patmon; Holton Hill def. Strachan (interception); Parris Campbell def. Rodgers (shifty in-and-out route); Jordan Thomas def. Julian Blackmon; Gary Jennings def. Marvell Tell III; Davis def. Ya-Sin; Harris def. Chesley; Andrew Vollert def. Ibraheim Campbell; Pascal def. Moore (double-move, back-shoulder catch along right sideline); Strachan def. Hill (beautiful pass from Eason); Rodgers def. Vaughns; Odum def. Kylen Granson; Patmon def. Carrie; Davis def. Nelson; Chesley def. Campbell; Sean Davis def. Green; Tell def. Jennings; Ya-Sin def. Strachan; Chachere def. Harris; Willis def. Thomas; Pascal def. Carrie; Nelson def. Davis
— I went in on Eason’s performance Tuesday, but credit where credit is due: he was much better on Wednesday. Tuesday, he was very inconsistent and struggled putting the correct velocity and touch on many of his passes. Things were smoother and less clunky on Wednesday. He wasn’t faltering under constant duress, and he accepted his check-downs. Eason went 15-of-19 passing (78.9%) combined in 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s with no touchdowns or interceptions.
— On a third down, Eason found wide receiver Zach Pascal about 15-20 yards down the middle of the field, and Pascal shook off the defender and kept picking up more yardage. During 7-on-7s, Eason also threw a beautiful pass about 30 or so yards down the left sideline but it fell off receiver T.Y. Hilton’s fingertips. Eason had multiple connections with Hilton (3), Nyheim Hines (3), Doyle (2), and Campbell (2)
— Second-team quarterback Sam Ehlinger continued his solid play on Wednesday, totaling 10-of-14 passing (71.4%) in live drills.
— Ehlinger had an impressive play on a deep ball down the left side to receiver Gary Jennings for about 30-plus yards. Ehlinger looked often to some of his favorite pass-catchers, as Green (4) and Jennings (2) both had multiple catches from him. Green was also a big recipient of Ehlinger’s passes Tuesday, so look for that combination during the preseason.
— Hey, Ben Banogu had another sack today! I believe the third-year defensive end has had a would-be sack in all seven practices but if not, he couldn’t have gone more than one session without one.
— Linebacker Malik Jefferson made an impressive reason on one play where he shot through the lane while defending an outside run to snipe the running back in the backfield.
— Quarterback Jalen Morton pump-faked and got some defenders to bite on one play, but he threw a short little pass up the middle right into linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi’s hands.
— Safety Ibraheim Campbell came up and blasted Hines in the backfield on one run. It was a physical series altogether as safety (Sean) Davis later nailed receiver (Quartney) Davis right after a catch over the middle, but the receiver held on. The hit was probably a little gruff for a team-on-team training camp practice.
— Both kickers Rodrigo Blankenship and Eddy Pineiro were 4-of-4 (100%) on the day with their field goal kicks, converting from approximately 32, 41, 47, and 53 yards.
— Hines, Rodgers, and Harris remained Wednesday’s punt returners.
What did you think of Day 7 of #ColtsCamp? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!