The Colts aren't the only team struggling a bit in preseason action. The Ravens, the Colts' opening day opponent, lost to the Eagles this weekend by a score of 20-14. And QB Kyle Boller looked awful.
"It's probably my worst quarter and half in the NFL," said Boller, who finished 10 out of 15 for 88 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
And while the Ravens defense looked better, linebacker Ray Lewis let it be known that the Ravens respect the powerful Colts offense that will be visiting on September 11th.
"I think our defense is always ready and we had a couple three-and-outs, but we could be better. We can't have a play like they had on the touchdown when we play the Colts. The guy came free. Rex and the coaches will fix that."
Colts.com reports that head coach Tony Dungy is understandably concerned about his team's preseason progress.
"It's tough to watch when you have penalties and mistakes and just really not-sharp, smart football," Dungy said. "Scores, I don't get too concerned about in the course of the preseason, but how you play.
"We haven't played a good quarter yet. We've got to get that done."
The Colts will get a boost in personnel for their next preseason game against the Broncos, with at least ten players expected to return to practice out of roughly twenty who missed the game against Chicago.
Gary Brackett's hustle paid off handsomely in the first quarter against the Bears. He snagged two interceptions as he continues to make progress with more reps as the Colts' starting middle linebacker. "You would be amazed, by just hustling to the ball, how many plays you come up with," he said.
Quarterback Travis Brown saw just one series of action due to an injury to his throwing shoulder on a sack by Chicago. The extent of the injury isn't yet known.
The Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz asks why the Colts haven't signed a veteran quarterback to play behind Manning rather than risk their season by losing a few games should Manning miss even limited action due to injury.
Kravitz says, "If Manning gets hurt, what's the Colts' Plan B? And then it occurred to me: There is no Plan B."
The Colts weren't the only team that had to shuffle their starting offensive line Saturday night. With Jeff Saturday out, guard Ryan Lilja played center and tackle Makoa Freitas backfilled Lilja's position. But the Bears were also missing their star center, Olin Kreutz, and used guard Roberto Garza in his place. The change didn't hurt the Bears' rushing game while it has appeared to cripple the Colts over the past couple of weeks.
NFL Quick Hits
Kansas City return specialist Dante Hall sprained his knee in preseason action against the Cardinals. His recovery time has not yet been determined....Panthers RB Stephen Davis, who has missed training camp and preseason action while recovering from offseason knee surgery, is expected to be cleared to start practicing this week...The Chargers put some teeth into their negotiations with TE Antonio Gates. Both sides have been working on a new deal Gates, agreeing that he should make more than the NFL minimum that he is scheduled to receive. But after negotiating for a few months, the Chargers are tired of it. They gave Gates an ultimatum to sign either a one-year deal worth $380,000 or their most recent long-term offer by 12:30 on Saturday. That deadline was missed, so the Chargers have put Gates on the "roster exempt" list, making him ineligible for the next three games -- including the season opener with Dallas. And for each week Gates misses, that three-week window shifts accordingly further into the regular season...The Steelers (3) and Dolphins (5) combined for eight turnovers in the first half of their preseason game...Titans starting offensive tackle Brad Hopkins has been suspended for the opening weekend of action after his conditional guilty plea to charges of assault and domestic violence that resulted in one-year of probation, anger management counseling, and a $10,000 donation to local charities that provide services for domestic violence victims...Raiders starting linebacker Sam Williams will miss the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee...23-year old Thomas Herrion, an offensive lineman with the 49ers collapsed and died in the locker room following preseason action on Saturday night. The cause of his death is unknown at this point.
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