AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans

     

Colts

Colts QB Andrew Luck says he’s not worried about missing the team’s season opener on September 8 due to his lingering calf injury. The quarterback says his goal is to return by then and he believes it’s well within reach. Luck acknowledged, though, that the injury is frustrating.

“At times I do worry about it,” Luck said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “It can be frustrating. The arc of an injury, whether it’s a big surgical one or something you’re rehabbing through. But no, because I’ve improved. Maybe I’m not improving as fast as I want and missing things is no fun. It eats at you. But I do know at the end of the day if I’m getting the most out of myself, if I’m being the best I can that day, then that’s what I need to do.”

The Colts have made a concerted effort to emphasize speed over size along their defensive line, which has resulted in the smallest set of defensive tackles collectively in the NFL. Starters Margus Hunt and Denico Autry come in at 298 and 285 pounds respectively, while converted defensive end Tyquan Lewis is only 277 pounds. That lack of size, in theory, would make it harder for the Colts to stop the run, however, Indianapolis did not allow a 100-yard rusher the entire 2018 season. 

“These O-linemen, they’re all bigger guys,” Lewis said via the Athletic’s Stephen Holder. “So, if you keep coming at them with speed, speed, speed, then eventually they start bailing. Then the power comes. It’s a mind game. You’re throwing your fastball, throwing your fastball and then, boom! You just have to keep working it. It’s like baseball.”

  • Colts DE Jabaal Sheard had surgery on his knee and will be out for an undetermined period of time. (Mike Chappell)
  • Colts second-round WR Parris Campbell has been out a week with a hamstring injury. (Zak Keefer)
  • Colts RB Nyheim Hines says his goal is to be more of a big-play threat for the team this year after having a long gain of only 28 yards as a rookie: “Honestly, I’d like to have more bigger plays, some 50, 60-yard plays that end up in touchdowns. That’s something I didn’t do last year.” (Kevin Bowen)

Jaguars

  • Asked by NBC Sports’ Peter King if he’ll play his whole career in Jacksonville, Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey smirked and said, “Maybe.”
  • The Jaguars have already told Ramsey they won’t negotiate an extension with him this season. He’s set to enter the final year of his deal on the fifth-year option in 2020. 

Texans

Texans QB Deshaun Watson said he’s taken another step mentally to his game as he enters his third season. 

“I can just have a lot more information on my plate, whenever I need it,” Watson said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “The past couple years, it was more calling the plays. Or they’d give me two plays, for different looks. Now I can have five, six different plays in my head, and make sure we get in the right one. Biggest focus is really just taking that leadership role as a quarterback, and mastering my craft with my knowledge of the offense, knowledge of the defense and being able to get us in the right plays.”

Regarding Texans S Jahleel Addae, HC Bill O’Brien said the safety has “stood out” during training camp and is picking up their defensive system. 

“If you’re talking about guys that we signed in the offseason, I would name Jahleel Addae,” O’Brien said. “Jahleel Addae has had a really good camp. Really picked up what we’re trying to do, good guy, practices hard, really good guy in the locker room. I think he’s stood out to me so far, from the guys that we brought in in the offseason?

As for their offensive line, O’Brien said that injuries have prevented them from putting together their starting five. 

It’s hard,” O’Brien said. “You’ve got guys that are injured, they’re banged-up. I don’t know. The sooner the better, certainly, so they can be all out there together communicating. I don’t think we really know who those guys are yet.

  • Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, O’Brien said he felt it was in the best interest of the team to move on from RB D’Onta Foreman: “We have some guys who are playing pretty good at that position. We wish D’Onta the best. He’s a good guy. He’s got talent. We wish him the best.” 
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