A.Q. Shipley to start Sunday

Colts decide to stay with Shipley for a third start at center after giving second-year pro Khaled Holmes most of the practice snaps with the first-team offense this week.

After watching second-year pro Khaled Holmes get most of the snaps with the first-team offense all week, the Indianapolis Colts have decided to stick with A.Q. Shipley at center.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano declared Shipley the starter on Friday.

“He worked back into practice this week,” Pagano said of Holmes, who practiced full each day for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain on Aug. 7, “(but) I think we’ll just stick with A.Q. for this ball game as the starter.”

That begs the question: Did the Colts see something they didn’t like in Holmes, or was he just not physically ready yet to make his first NFL start?

Asked if Holmes might get some snaps Sunday at Jacksonville, Pagano said, “If he’s up. Like anybody else coming off an injury, whatever it is, I’m not just going to throw a kid to the wolves if he’s not 100 percent and ready to play.

“Mentally, it’s not an issue. He knows exactly what to do. Physically, he hasn’t played for a while. I’m going to make sure that ankle is 100 percent before I throw him back out there.”

Pagano added, “We can play winning football with A.Q.”

Shipley was claimed off waivers from Baltimore after he was among the Ravens’ final preseason cuts. He’s started both games this season and had five starts in 14 games for the Colts in 2012.

Holmes, a fourth-round pick out of Southern California in 2013, admitted he’s anxious.

“You’re excited to be back, but at the same time, you have to be smart and recognize it is a long season,” he said.

He said the biggest hurdle to coming back from his injury is trusting he’s sound physically.

“I think it’s probably just confidence, confidence in the strength that you’ve built up in the weight room and out on the field,” he said. “Just getting that back.”

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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