Behind Enemy Lines: Colts roster

The educated fan knows as much about the opponent as he does his team of choice. To that end, we offer a position-by-position break down of Chicago's Week 1 opponent, the Indianapolis Colts.

QUARTERBACKS

Starter -- Andrew Luck. Backups -- Chandler Harnish, Drew Stanton.

Luck is the starter going into the regular season. He's had a strong training camp and preseason with no readily apparent hiccups. Stanton figures to be the primary backup. Harnish has a chance to remain with the team but could very well land on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS

Starter -- Donald Brown. Backups -- Vick Ballard, Delone Carter, Mewelde Moore.

Brown has gotten most of the work with the first-time offense. But Carter and Moore are working it to out to be the top backups. Moore came from the Steelers and is very familiar with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' system. Ballard has been impressive early and figures to stick.

TIGHT ENDS

Starters -- Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen. Backups -- Dominique Jones.

The Colts will employ a two tight-end set with rookie Fleener and Allen starting. Fleener is the Dallas Clark type while Allen is probably better as an end-line blocker and receiver. The Colts refer to their H-Back position as an F-Back, but the responsibilities are pretty much the same. Jones, a former UFL and Arena League player, seems to fit that role best.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Starters -- Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie. Backups -- Kris Adams, Donnie Avery, LeVon Brazill, T.Y. Hilton.

Twelve-year veteran Wayne is probably the only sure thing among the Colts receivers right now. Collie suffered a concussion -- his fifth such incident since the start of the 2010 season -- in the Pittsburgh preseason game but is expected to be ready for the start of the season. Avery (who has had injury issues in the past), Hilton and Brazill will all play. Adams impressed in camp.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Starters -- LT Anthony Castonzo, LG Joe Reitz, C Samson Satele, RG Mike McGlynn, RT Winston Justice. Backups -- OT Jeff Linkenbach, OG Seth Olsen, C A.Q Shipley. Reserve PUP -- OT Justin Anderson, T Mike Person.

A work in progress. Castanzo, Satele and Justice are all penciled in. But Reitz is nursing a sore knee and has been splitting time with Olsen and Linkenbach during training camp and the preseason. McGlynn has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain. After that, it's pretty much a tossup as to who plays.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Starters -- DE Cory Redding, NT Antonio Johnson, DT Fili Moala. Backups -- DE Ricardo Mathews, DT Drake Nevis. Reserve PUP -- NT Josh Chapman, NT Martin Tevaseu.

Redding has nursed elbow and knee injuries since the start of the preseason. He is, however, expected to play against Chicago in the season opener. Johnson wins the nose tackle job after a good camp and the loss of McKinney to a season-ending knee injury. Moala has looked good at times, as has Nevis and Mathews.

LINEBACKERS

Starters -- SLB Robert Mathis, MLB Kavell Conner, WLB Jerrell Freeman, RLB Dwight Freeney. Backups -- RLB Mario Addison, WLB Pat Angerer, WLB Moise Fokou, MLB Mario Harvey, RLB Justin Hickman, SLB Jerry Hughes.

Angerer is out for at least six weeks with a fractured foot that required surgery. Former CFLer Freeman steps in to his spot while Conner earned the nod as the "Mike" linebacker. Addison has impressed with his versatility of playing inside and outside. Fokou and Lloyd have a chance to contribute.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Starters -- LCB Vontae Davis, SS Tom Zbikowski, FS Antoine Bethea, RCB Jerraud Powers. Backups -- CB Josh Gordy, CB Justin King, FS Joe Lefeged, CB Cassius Vaughn, S Sergio Brown.

It's been a revolving door at left cornerback with Vaughn, Justin King, Johnson all getting work there in training camp and the preseason. But with the addition of Davis from Miami, that door may finally be closed. Zbikowski, Bethea and Powers round out a pretty good secondary if they can all remain healthy. Gordy (St. Louis) also recently joined the team and is a bit of an unknown right now.

SPECIAL TEAMS

P Pat McAfee. PK Adam Vinatieri, LS Matt Overton, KR LaVon Brazill, PR LaVon Brazill.

Vinatieri continues to impress. He had a 53-yarder at Pittsburgh in the preseason. McAfee is the Colts' do-everything man (punter, kickoff specialist, holder and backup placekicker). Justin Snow had the longest tenure with the team, but was beaten out by free-agent signee Overton (who has a cheaper contract). Brazill and Hilton appear to be set as Indy's punt and kickoff returners.


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