The big news out of Terre Haute this morning at the Colts training camp is that now the Colts have both starting safeties sidelined.
Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders isn't expected to practice for two weeks as the team continues to be cautious with his shoulder. Mike Doss left the field early yesterday, and some thought it may have been heat-related. But he didn't practice this morning and is in a walking boot after injuring the lower portion of his leg. He's expected to miss a couple of days. As a result, the starters working with the first team are Matt Giordano and rookie Antoine Bethea.
Word around camp is that Corey Simon has dropped twenty pounds and is looking good. That weight loss will really help him in this Colts system that is predicated on speed.
Here are some questions that our ColtPower Insiders (subscribers) posed to our staff in our Insiders forums and that we're able to answer at this early stage in camp:
Question: How goes the battle for the #2 TE spot? Utecht or Fletcher? And has there been a Ben Hartsock sighting?
Answer: Utecht was the first one assigned to the starting unit yesterday morning and Tuesday morning, but both he and Fletcher are getting about an equal number of reps so far. The job is clearly up for grabs even though Fletcher claimed it last season while Utecht recovered from injuries. Hartsock is working out with the second team and at this stage it appears he will be counted on primarily as a blocking TE, not as one of the starters.
Q: Who amongst the throng of wide receivers is standing out behind the Big 3?
A: It's very early to draw many conclusions on this yet, but one guy that is impressing early is undrafted rookie Ashlan Davis. If he can keep up some of his early performances, he could be in the running for the number 5 spot and as a returns specialist. Terrence Wilkins is also doing well and will be doing all he can to claim that spot.
Q. How are Kory Chapman and Vashon Pearson doing, and is one separating himself from the other?
A: Neither one is showing consistent performance yet, but remember, it's only the second day of camp. Chapman has had some early trouble staying on his feet. Pearson is doing okay, but not great so far. So in this very early stage, neither one has really stood out as the better back.
Q: Is Dylan Gandy getting any time with the starters? Will he replace Ryan Lilja in the starting lineup?
A: No, Gandy is working with the second group. The Colts' front five from last year is intact. Unless Lilja or Scott falters, Gandy is likely a year away from truly being in the mix for a starter's job.
Q: Are any of the safeties other than Mike Doss looking good out there so far?
Matt Giordano is in the lineup in place of Bob Sanders, and he's definitely matured in the position since last year. He made some nice hits out there yesterday. It's too early to really provide much on the other guys, but we'll be seeing more of Antoine Bethea today since he's in for Mike Doss.
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