ANDERSON, Ind. — Veterans exhaled, young players hurriedly scurried to fetch personal belongings, fan favorite Pat McAfee stayed late to sign autographs again and semi-trucks started rolling in and out of Anderson University Wednesday afternoon.
Another training camp is in the books, although the Indianapolis Colts didn’t need reminding that three preseason games still separate them from playing games that count. The mindset doesn’t change much, except now they get to sleep in their own beds.
Quarterback Andrew Luck said the first thing he would do when he came home was a load of laundry, then perhaps take a nap.
"Still a lot of work to do,” the third-year passer said. “We may not be technically in Anderson training camp, but I still think it’s a training camp mentality when we get back to W. 56th St.”
The good news is cornerback Vontae Davis and safety LaRon Landry will see their first exhibition action when the New York Giants visit Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night. Colts coach Chuck Pagano assured Davis was OK, although the defender skipped the final camp workout and was walking around with his left foot in a boot.
"He’s got a sore toe, that’s it,” Pagano said. “So they put him in a boot, it’ll heal up much faster."
Davis and Landry missed the Colts’ preseason opener with groin injuries.
Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was held out of the final camp practice, too, for precautionary reasons. Pagano said he would play against the Giants.
Some other players will be held out of that game, but Pagano wasn’t showing his hand on which ones would sit. When asked about running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who has been wearing a red jersey to eliminate any contact, the coach said his status would be discussed on Friday at the team’s West 56th Street complex. But Pagano assured, “He’s healthy” and the red jersey was merely precautionary.
As is usually the routine for a second preseason game, the Colts starters are expected to play one quarter.
"Obviously (it would be) great if everyone can come out healthy as well but it’s nice (that) you get to go out and maybe focus a little more on technique and things that you wouldn’t necessarily think about in a regular-season game,” Luck said. “Hopefully we can go out and do some positive things.”
The Colts lost center Khaled Holmes to an ankle injury in the preseason opener. He’s expected to miss at least two weeks. That means rookie Jonotthan Harrison will handle snaps with the first-string offense. He botched a couple in his first NFL action.
The loss of offensive left guard Donald Thomas to another season-ending quad injury means rookie Jack Mewhort will start next to Harrison. Mewhort has also taken some snaps in practice. Second-year pro Hugh Thornton is at offensive right guard. If the Colts’ youth and inexperience in the interior offensive line is a concern to Luck, he’s not saying it.
"I’m very comfortable with the changes and what’s going on,” Luck said. “I think we see a bunch of guys, not just five guys, who can really play football. They’re a pleasure to play behind, they’re good dudes so no qualms at all about what’s going on there.
Defensive end Cory Redding was all smiles after finishing another training camp. While the veterans don’t say it publicly, because it’s part of the preseason process, they look forward to coming home.
"I am celebrating camp 12, this is a dozen of them for me,” Redding said. “It has been a long journey for myself. I am truly enjoying it, making it, surviving camp 12 out here in Anderson and looking forward to putting Anderson in the rear-view mirror and good things are bound to happen this year for us."
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.