The big news out of Terre Haute was the progress of some of the 21 injured players who missed the preseason game against Buffalo.
As the team finished their stretching and got ready to work on two-minute drills, offensive linemen Dylan Gandy (foot) and Jeff Saturday (hamstring) rode off on a cart, still unable to participate in drills. But rookie defensive end Jonathan Welsh, who was expected to miss the balance of training camp, is evidently progressing much better than expected. Welsh stretched with the team and participated in some non-contact drills.
Safety Mike Doss, who had missed most of camp with a groin injury appeared to be back to full strength and worked as a second-team safety along with Brandon Lynch.
Donald Strickland, Nick Harper, Troy Walters and Gilbert Gardner watched most of the 30-minute morning practice from the sidelines. But both Walters and Gardner -- who injured his knee during last Friday's practice -- did some light work with trainers, testing their progress. Walters (hip flexor) looked good, but Gardner appeared to struggle a bit while trying to work through some coverage drills with trainers.
On the third play of a two-minute drill for the first-team players, Peyton Manning was intercepted by safety Joseph Jefferson. But on his next set of downs, Manning hit five consecutive completions, capped by Marvin Harrison's touchdown catch. Tight end Dallas Clark worked with the starters for the first time since injuring his hamstring and appears to be ready to reclaim his starter's spot.
During the second-team's two-minute drill work, running back Dominic Rhodes and tight end Ben Utecht had nice receptions of passes tossed by Jim Sorgi. But safety Matt Giordano broke up a potential touchdown pass to Aaron Moorehead during the drive, and later in the practice Marlin Jackson intercepted a pass intended for Moorehead.
During the afternoon special teams practice, defensive back Von Hutchins, Jonathan Welsh, Gilbert Gardner and safety Daryl Dixon practiced during the no-contact portion of drills. Nick Harper and Dylan Gandy watched but did not participate.
Hunter Smith practiced punting from roughly the 50-yard line. Out of close to 20 punts, only two rolled into the end zone for touchbacks. Cornerback Jason David and wide receiver Brad Pyatt worked on punt returns.
Kickers Mike Vanderjagt and Dave Rayner practiced kickoffs with no live action associated with their kicks. Rayner did a bit better, consistently hitting the ball deeper, including two touchbacks. Vanderjagt's kick were landing primarily in the area of the 10-yard line.
But interestingly enough, when they added live-action kickoff coverage and receiving to the drill, the kickers' depth of kicks were very similar. Brad Pyatt and Dominic Rhodes handled the bulk of the kickoffs, but rookie running back Anthony Davis got some opportunities and made the most of them, drawing some praise from the coaches.
The Colts released offensive lineman Marico Portis today. The 6'2, 311-pound guard was trying to make the team as a free agent after playing in one game last season for the Tennessee Titans.
Todd Taylor will be covering training camp for ColtPower on Tuesday with reports throughout the day. Check back Tuesday for a ColtPower special feature article, "Live Updates from Colts Training Camp" which will be updated as Todd reports live from Terre Haute.
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