Colts' depth chart lists two rookie starters

Former Stanford teammates Henry Anderson and David Parry will be back together again alongside each other on the defensive line.

The Indianapolis Colts are expected to start two rookies, defensive tackle Henry Anderson and nose tackle David Parry, in Sunday’s season opener at the Buffalo Bills.

That’s according to the team’s depth chart, released Tuesday on the Colts’ Web site. While it’s always listed as “unofficial,” it typically carries more weight when Week 1 arrives.

Anderson, a third-round pick out of Stanford, was previously listed as the backup to defensive end Kendall Langford. But when the Colts lost defensive tackle Arthur Jones to a season-ending ankle injury near the end of preseason, that required some shuffling.

It’s one of the reasons head coach Chuck Pagano likes his young guys. They’re versatile and can play different positions.

Parry, a fifth-round pick out of Stanford, will play alongside his college teammate after beating out 2014 starter Josh Chapman, who was cut.

Scanning the rest of the depth chart, second-year pro Zach Kerr is Parry’s backup, but expect him to get his share of snaps. First-year pro Earl Okine is now backing up Langford. Rookie T.Y. McGill, claimed off waivers from Seattle, is backing up Anderson.

Outside linebacker Robert Mathis is listed as a second backup to rush linebacker Trent Cole, but that will change when Mathis is healthy enough to play. Neither team nor player has said if Mathis will be back Sunday in his comeback from a left Achilles tendon tear, but all indications are that the franchise’s all-time sack leader will get some snaps.

Newly acquired Sio Moore is listed as the backup to inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Nate Irving, signed as a free agent from Denver, is backing up Jerrell Freeman.

While Greg Toler is listed as the starting left cornerback, he’s dealing with a neck issue and considered "week to week," which strongly suggests he might not play in the opener. If Toler can’t play, Pagano said Wednesday nickel back Darius Butler will take his place.

Offensively, there aren’t many surprises. The Colts list a two tight-end formation, so both Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener start, although expect quarterback Andrew Luck to lead a lot of three wide-receiver sets this season.

Vick Ballard is listed as running back Frank Gore’s backup, which is noteworthy because Ballard is considered “day-to-day” this week with a hamstring injury. If he can’t play, the reserve roles belong to rookies Josh Robinson and Tyler Varga.

Pagano said Gore will be on a play count, although the coach acknowledged his 32-year-old rusher would play 80 plays if allowed. The Colts are trying to ensure they don’t overwork the 11th-year pro. Gore said he would do whatever asked and didn’t show a hint of questioning the plan.

Because Dan Herron is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, the Colts will used second-year wide receiver Donte Moncrief as the kickoff returner. Varga, an undrafted rookie from Yale, is the backup kickoff returner.

Rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett is the punt returner, backed up by wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

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