The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Colts Camp

August 12, 2011

Evaluation name of the game for Indy

ST. LOUIS — Evaluation will be the primary objective tonight when the Indianapolis Colts kick off their National Football League preseason schedule against the St. Louis Rams.

Game time is set for 8 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome. The game will be televised on WNDY in Indianapolis and replayed later on the NFL Network.

While Coach Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff spent Friday putting their final plans in place, the Colts are expected to utilize rookies and veteran backup players most of the evening. The first offensive and defensive units aren’t slated to see more than one or two series before retiring to the sidelines.

“I think the game will give us a good indication of where we are [after the second week of training camp]. Often times you have to come back (to camp) and retool and regroup,” Caldwell said earlier this week.

“But (the first preseason game) gives you a pretty good assessment and that’s what I think this first game will do for us. It will assess where we are and also give some of the younger guys a real taste of what the National Football League is really about.”

Depending on their position and the team’s depth situation, some veterans could see more playing time than others.

“It just depends. Every individual is a little bit different. Everybody is different. There is no blanket statement across the board,” the Colts coach said, adding that its probably time for his team to test itself against another team.

“They would like to face another opponent other than their own teammates and they are going to get that opportunity obviously on Saturday. But that’s a good thing for both squads. We will both get a chance to really test where we are.”

One thing is certain. With no organized team activities and minicamps this past summer, due to the labor lockout, the Colts’ four preseason games take on a whole different level of importance.

“We have to give (the rookies and new players) a fair shot evaluation. We just have a little less time to do it. But everyone is going to get an opportunity,” Caldwell explained. “You get an opportunity every day when you are out there on the practice field. You certainly get an opportunity during preseason games. Not everyone will play an equal amount in every single game, but I think after it’s all said and done we’ll get a good look at everybody.”

Watch to watch for — Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky will probably get the bulk of the work at quarterback against the Rams, although Nate Davis and undrafted rookie Mike Hartline may get on the field during the third and fourth quarters.

And while placekicker Adam Vinatieri will be available and may see limited playing time, punters Pat McAfee and undrafted rookie Travis Baltz should get opportunities to placekick. McAfee has displayed a strong leg in training camp, hitting field goal attempts from 65 and 70 yards.

Running backs Javarris James, Devin Moore, along with undrafted rookies Darren Evans and Chad Spann, will play. Joseph Addai may see some work, but Donald Brown and rookie Delone Carter should see extended action.

Hughes vs. Saffold — One interesting sidelight will be a possible matchup of Colts second-year defensive end Jerry Hughes against former Indiana University offensive tackle Rodger Saffold.

Indianapolis opted to draft Hughes ahead of Saffold a year ago. Not taking an offensive tackle in 2010 made it a imperative to add two offensive tackles this year, first-round pick Anthony Castonzo and second-rounder Ben Ijalana.

Castonzo and Ijalana will work with the Colts’ No. 2 offensive line group, along with undrafted rookie center Jake Kirkpatrick.

Injury list — Sitting out Friday morning’s practice were WR Joe Horn (back), OG Jamey Richard (calf), LB Ernie Sims (appendectomy), DT Fili Moala (foot), OG Jaimie Thomas (back), DE Jamaal Anderson (groin), DE Dwight Freeney (rest), DT DeMario Pressley (hamstring), TE Brody Eldridge (knee).

CB Jacob Lacey (Achilles) and LB Cody Glenn (neck) practiced for the second straight day. Lacey was hurt in Tuesday’s practice and has seen limited work since. He is expected to start against the Rams. Glenn’s neck issue dates back to last season.

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