The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Pro Sports

August 8, 2013

Safety depth concerns Colts

ANDERSON, Ind. — When Joe Lefeged walked into Macholtz Stadium on Thursday morning wearing a boot on his right foot, it set off alarms throughout the media area.

He became the fifth Indianapolis Colts safety of the seven on the 90-man training camp roster to miss time because of an injury.

The team responded with a transaction later in the day, adding undrafted rookie Ashante Williams out of Illinois, but depth at the position remains thin in advance of Sunday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills.

"You hate to go into any game, certainly our first preseason game, with limited numbers," head coach Chuck Pagano said.

But he also allayed some fears.

Lefeged has a "slight calf strain" and is wearing the boot only as a precaution.

"It has nothing to do with an ankle," Pagano said. "You assume boot, you assume foot, you assume ankle, but it is more of a slight calf strain."

Trainers believe Lefeged and strong safety LaRon Landry — who did not practice Tuesday or Thursday because of an undisclosed left knee issue — will be available for Sunday's game. They would join free safety Antoine Bethea and second-year player Delano Howell as the only healthy players at the position.

Larry Asante and Sergio Brown have been nursing hamstring injuries for much of training camp, and rookie John Boyett is on the non-football injury list and hasn't practiced with the team since being drafted in the sixth round out of Oregon.

Pagano said cornerbacks Josh Gordy and Darius Butler — who primarily play in the slot during nickel packages — have taken some snaps at safety and could be used there at times Sunday.

"It taxes you, and it puts a strain because you would like to get some guys out of there and you don't want to overwork guys," Pagano said. "Again, position flexibility, we always say in the National Football League, the more you can do. Having guys like the two I just talked about being able to step in and take some of the reps off the other guys will help."

The Colts waived wide receiver Rodrick Rumble and offensive lineman Justin Anderson on Thursday. Anderson will revert to injured reserve if he clears waivers.

The team also added linebacker Shawn Loiseau, who was previously signed to the practice squad in November and released at the end of April.

 

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