Colts And Lions Polishing Up For First Preseason Match-Up
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions held a joint practice today at the Indiana Farmers Football Center on the west-side.
“I thought the work was excellent. Coach (Jim) Caldwell and his staff have done a great job," Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano said of their opponent. "They talked to their guys about tempo, how the periods were going to be run. We’re like-minded in that regard."
This was the first time that Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell returned to the Colts practice facility since his days of being the head coach for the Colts.
“Most people tell you, I’m not that nostalgic just in terms of looking back," Caldwell said. "But obviously, I spent 10 years here and I certainly have some good memories."
Andrew Luck is still out as he rehabs from his shoulder surgery and remains on the PUP list. The likely starter at quarterback for the Colts Sunday will be back-up Scott Tolzien. The team has also made some roster moves leading up to the game in releasing veteran defensive end Kendall Langford, who was cut with a failed physical designation in regards to his lingering knee injury.
Langford was on injured reserve for most of the season last year.
"When you have to waive and move on from a football player and a man and a pro and a teammate like Kendall, I mean it stings," Pagano added of his former D-lineman. It’s the worst part of the job. I know how grateful we are for his contributions. He did a heck of a job for us."
Another concern now is the health of center Ryan Kelly, who left practice with an unspecified injury and was seen on cruthes later on in the day. Coach Pagano says he "didn't see it" and is going to talk with the training staff to get more details.
In spite of the injury questions and roster moves, many players like veteran running back Frank Gore are optomistc after going live for the first time against another team.
“We are moving in the right direction. We are competing and moving in the right direction,” Gore continued. "It was fun. You get to go against a different team, different looks and go out there and have fun and compete."
Rookie defensive back Malik Hooker mirrored his veteran teammate's thoughts in his first live fire with his new teammates.
"In college, you can get away with not communicating a little bit, but here that doesn’t happen," Hooker compared. "You got a quarterback like Matt Stafford across the line from you, he is definitely going to make you pay if you don’t get the communication throughout the defense.”
The Colts and the Lions will have a second joint practice on Friday before taking the day off Saturday. Kickoff for preseason action between the two is set ofr 1:30pm ET at Lucas Oil Stadium. You can listen to all the action live on 97.1 HANK FM.
(PHOTO: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)