Chuck Pagano won’t divulge who will start at center Sunday night at Denver.
The Indianapolis Colts’ coach insists he’s not being coy, that the evaluation of recent-addition A.Q. Shipley and mending Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison is still in progress. If anything, the situation is more up in the air after Wednesday.
Pagano was encouraged by Holmes, who was limited but performed well in practice. It’s the first time the second-year pro has participated since spraining his left ankle Aug. 7. Harrison, a rookie backup, appears to be recovered from a thumb injury. He practiced full.
While the doubts linger about whether Holmes will have the conditioning to make his first NFL start in the Mile High City altitude, as well as about an undrafted rookie stepping in, the Colts’ coach reiterated it’s wait and see.
“We’ll see,” he said. “We’ll know a lot more as the day progresses, then (Thursday) how (Holmes) comes in and how he feels, if he picked up any swelling or extra soreness.”
Asked Holmes’ chances, Pagano said, “A lot better today than they were yesterday. He looked pretty good. He’s been busting his tail in there, and it was evident today at practice that he looked pretty good out there.”
Shipley, who played in 14 games including five starts for the Colts in 2012, is ready for anything.
“I’ll do whatever they tell me,” he said.
When pressed with a third question about the center situation, Pagano said, “We really haven’t decided, to be honest with you, who that’s going to be regardless of health.”
The Colts’ depth chart ranks the position as Holmes, Harrison and Shipley.
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne was missing from the practice field in somewhat of a surprise — veterans often take a day off late in the week.
The ever-cautious Pagano gave a day of rest to his 35-year-old star, who is coming off a 2013 season-ending knee injury.
The only other player who did not practice was backup right tackle Joe Reitz, who suffered a left high ankle sprain in Thursday’s preseason finale.
Center Jonotthan Harrison (hand) was a full participant. Holmes (ankle) and reserve free safety Sergio Brown (shoulder) were limited.
Jersey number switches
One of the customary changes after a 53-man roster has been finalized are jersey number changes to newcomers. The Colts had two such switches.
Rookie cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy will don No. 23 instead of No. 6.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s going to be fun playing with guys you just went to war with playing in the Super Bowl.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.