ANDERSON, Ind. — Before the first training camp workout, the Indianapolis Colts announced they’re down a few guys and needed to add a few new players.
The most notable absence from Wednesday afternoon’s first public practice at Anderson University will be second-year safety Clayton Geathers, who reportedly broke a foot bone during workouts on his own and isn’t expected to play in preseason.
Geathers, entering his second season, was supposed to be a full-time starter for the first time alongside two-time Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams.
“Clayton Geathers, doing what he’s supposed to do in the offseason, working at his craft, unfortunately had a foot injury,” head coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday. “He’s doing well. He’s three weeks into that. He’ll be week-to-week.”
Pagano didn’t want to discuss specifics.
Asked what Geathers did, the coach said, “He’s got a foot injury.”
Asked if he would elaborate, the coach said, “It’s a foot injury.”
Asked about a timetable for return, the coach said, “It’s week-to-week and I’ll listen to the docs. We’re always hopeful sooner than later. Probably, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.”
While Pagano also preferred to be vague about replacement options for Geathers, the most likely choices are rookie second-round draft pick T.J. Green and Winston Guy Jr.. The Colts have seven safeties on the roster, although five of them are in their second year or less.
“There’s going to be great competition at a ton of spots on this football team,” Pagano said. “That’s how it’s supposed to be when you build the roster the right way.”
The good news is second-year defensive end Henry Anderson is “ahead of schedule” in his recovery from knee surgery that ended his rookie year after nine games. Anderson and tight end Darion Griswold have been played on the physically unable to perform list. Geathers and tight end Mike Miller are on the non-football injury list.
“With all of these guys, we’ll listen to the docs,” Pagano said. “When they say they’re OK and they’re ready to go, then we’ll put ‘em back into action.”
Asked if Anderson’s improved status raises expectations that he could be ready for the season opener and play for suspended defensive tackle Arthur Jones, Pagano said, “Time will tell.”
Jones, who will miss the first four games for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs, was not placed the physically unable to perform list, which means he’s been cleared to practice. Because he missed all of last season after ankle surgery, Pagano said the sixth-year pro will be brought back gradually.
“Anybody that’s coming in and coming off of something, we’re going to be smart in how we ease them back into things,” the coach said.
Running back Tyler Varga retired after one season and the Colts waived cornerback Daniel Davie. That meant available roster spots, filled by the signing of running back Abou Toure and tight end Chase Coffman. Toure spent 2015 camp with the Colts and was among final preseason cuts, then was on Pittsburgh and Arizona practice squads during the season. Coffman has played in 37 career games, including three starts, in seven seasons with Seattle, Tennessee, Atlanta and Cincinnati.
“You want to be smart with the amount of reps and all of those kind of things and make sure we keep this team has healthy as possible,” he said.
League rules permit NFL teams to put on shoulder pads by the third day of camp. The Colts open the league’s exhibition schedule with the Hall of Fame Game against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio.
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