- The Athletic’s Zak Keefer writes that while losing three weeks of practice in camp is not ideal for Colts QB Carson Wentz, the silver lining is they got the issue fixed with potentially no missed time in the regular season.
- Backup Colts QBs Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger also got valuable first-team opportunities to develop with Wentz out, per Keefer.
- Colts TE Jack Doyle admitted he considered retiring this offseason: “I said, ‘Let’s keep doing this.’ And I’ll do the same thing after this year. You never know how the season’s going to go, and how you’re going to feel, mentally or physically.”
- Colts seventh-round WR Michael Strachan has been impressive enough that it would be surprising to see him cut, per Keefer. But Colts WR coach Mike Groh emphasized the former D-II standout is a developmental project: “It’s like going from sixth grade to grad school in chemical engineering. You can’t minimize it.”
- The Athletic’s Stephen Holder is optimistic about Colts LT Eric Fisher avoiding starting the season on the PUP list and returning within the first six games.
- As a result, he thinks Indianapolis will cut OT Sam Tevi and go with Julie’n Davenport and Will Holden as placeholders until Fisher comes back.
- On a deep defensive line, Holder projects DT Taylor Stallworth and DE Isaac Rochell as falling on the wrong side of the bubble.
- Colts G Quenton Nelson said he’s still adjusting after missing three weeks of practice due to a foot injury: “It’s feeling how you’d expect it to feel after 3 weeks (off). It’s a little tough moving a load at my position and the pressure of the incision and everything.” (Keefer)
- Keefer mentions that the Colts are managing Nelson and Wentz’s “level of soreness” as they ramp up toward the regular season.
An anonymous NFC personnel executive told Matt Lombardo of Fansided that he believes Jaguars’ rookie QB Trevor Lawrence will struggle in his rookie season given he’s forced to start and doesn’t have much talent around him.
“Lawrence is in a spot where he’s forced to start right away,” the executive said, via Matt Lombardo of Fansided. “And doesn’t have any talent around him. He’s going to get beat up. He’s going to struggle.”
Another NFL talent evaluator believes Lawrence will come out stronger from 2021 despite having a difficult season.
“If I were in Jacksonville, I’d let Lawrence start right away, let him get beat up a lot and hope he gets through it and grows from it,” said the talent evaluator. “He has to play day one. I think he’ll really struggle, but mentally, he’s a kid who can handle it.”
When the Texans guaranteed the rest of RB David Johnson‘s salary after having him take a pay cut, it seemed to indicate he’d play a prominent role in 2021. Instead, Houston added Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram and Rex Burkhead. Johnson has been relegated largely to a situational role on third down so far this preseason.
“He’s a guy who’s been very, very, good during his career in third-down situations, as well as on first and second down,” Texans HC David Culley said via the Athletic’s Aaron Reiss. “With the depth that we have at our back position right now with those guys, his versatility becomes very, very important for us. And I feel good about where he’s been during this training camp.”
- Reiss notes sixth-round DT Roy Lopez has been impressive and has worked his way into being a roster lock. Culley expects him to contribute this season: “He’s jumped into a group of guys as a rookie with some veteran guys that know how to practice and know how to play, and he has fell right in there, and there are times when I don’t even know that he’s a rookie with that group when he’s out there.”
- Texans 2020 fourth-round OT Charlie Heck was a healthy scratch for almost his entire rookie season but has bounced back tremendously so far this preseason, according to Culley, and is a strong contender to start at right tackle: “That’s not surprising because he has a great work ethic. He’s going into that year now where you want to see that progress made, and we’re starting to see that. And that’s what happens when you do what he did to be in the position that he’s in right now.”