The list of players who sat out today's single session included: Safeties Bob Sanders, Mike Doss, Chris Laskowski and Antoine Bethea; cornerbacks Eric Hill, Jason David, Tim Jennings; defensive linemen Dwight Freeney, Corey Simon, Jonathan Welsh, Montae Reagor, Justin Brown, Sweet Pea Burns; and tight end Ben Hartsock.
Some of the players who missed at least one practice yesterday were back in action, including quarterback Jim Sorgi, linebackers Cato June, Gary Brackett and Tyjuan Hagler; center Jeff Saturday, and wide receivers Brandon Stokley and Aaron Moorehead.
The Colts have apparently done an about-face on their plans to have Dwight Freeney play in the preseason opener. Freeney didn't participate in today's walk-through session, due to his shoulder still being a bit sore. While it's still not a point of real concern according to our sources, the team wants to be cautious and avoid aggravating the shoulder during a meaningless preseason game.
With Montae Reagor and Corey Simon sidelined, expect to see Raheem Brock (pictured, right) and Darrell Reid as the starting defensive tackles. Reid continues to look good not only at the DT spot, but also in his experimental role as a fullback. He gives the Colts yet another dimension to their highly diverse offense. He could get a few plays of live action at that position during the game.Speaking of banged-up units, the depth chart at safety will be very shaky. Fortunately, Matt Giordano, who is having a very good camp so far, will be one of the starters while Dexter Reid will be called upon to anchor the other spot. Colts fans will undoubtedly be excited to see Marlin Jackson as the likely starter at cornerback opposite Nick Harper, but that won't mean that he's already won the job. Jason David has been sidelined with an injury the last couple of practices. But it's certainly a golden opportunity for Jackson to show his progress in a live game situation.
When Jackson is at the cornerback position, keep an eye out for who the Colts plug-in at the nickel spot. We're hearing it's a toss-up right now between Von Hutchins and Kelvin Hayden. Hutchins is really coming into his own during this training camp. The Colts even had him playing some safety at yesterday's practice. Linebacker Nick Hannah, who is in his second camp with the Colts, could be a future conversion project to the secondary. He's getting some experimental looks at safety as well. It may be too late for this season, but if Hannah can show some aptitude for the spot, he could be an offseason transformation to safety for 2007, just as the Colts did with Chris Laskowski this past offseason.
Don't be surprised if you see Dylan Gandy get some work with the first-team against the Rams, but it isn't necessarily an indication that he's being considered for an early promotion. While Gandy is certainly a rising talent, we've learned that Lilja is experiencing some mild discomfort with one of his knees, so the Colts could minimize his action or rest him all together Thursday night.
Everyone knows that Dallas Clark will be the No. 1 tight end Thursday night, but one of the great battles so far in camp is between Bryan Fletcher and Ben Utecht for the No. 2 spot. You'll see plenty of both as they've been splitting time with the first unit in camp. If you split hairs, Utecht probably has a thin lead for the spot at this point.
T.J. Rushing, Dan Sheldon and Ashlan Davis are the primary returns specialists to keep an eye on Thursday night. They appear to have the edge so far, but you may see veteran Terrence Wilkins get some chances as well.