The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

May 10, 2013

Colts Notebook: Thornton honors past, focuses on future

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS — NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND: Safety John Boyett did not participate in Friday’s on-field drills.

The sixth-round pick out of Oregon is recovering from torn patella tendons in each knee, and the Colts hope to have him ready for organized team activities that begin in two weeks.

Boyett worsened the injuries with the Ducks by playing through pain in his knees for his entire junior season. Now, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano and his staff are trying to protect Boyett from himself.

“He wants to go,” Pagano said. “He’s champing at the bit. He’s really eager like the rest of the guys, but we are going to make sure that he’s 100 percent before we throw him out there.”

WHO’S IRRELEVANT NOW?: Tight end Justice Cunningham, who earned the moniker “Mr. Irrelevant” after being selected with the 254th and final pick of the draft, was one of the head-turners during Friday’s practice.

Though he came out of South Carolina with a reputation as an outstanding in-line blocker, Cunningham displayed a bit of his versatility  during his first practice.

He made a nice catch on a deep crossing pattern for a big gain and added a diving reception on a shorter thrown late in the afternoon.

“He’s an athletic guy,” Pagano said. “He can stretch the field. I know there are a couple of balls he’d like to have back, a few that hit the ground. A big, athletic guy. We knew that. A pretty sharp guy. We feel like we have another guy in the mix who is a good blocker and can also become an effective pass receiver.”

LEADER OF THE PACK: Quarterback Andrew Luck joked early in last year’s training camp that center Samson Satele’s long hair protruding from the back of his helmet helped him remember who to line up under before each play.

If that’s case, Luck’s also going to love Southern Cal center Khaled Holmes — the Colts’ fourth-round pick this year.

Holmes resembles Satele with his long locks pulled back in a ponytail, and he’s already displaying some of the leadership qualities shared by the veteran center.

“The guy is brilliant, very sharp, very bright, makes all the calls,” Pagano said. “He picked up (things fast). It seems like he’s been here months the way he operated out here. He had that aura about him. He’s a very, very confident kid. I was very impressed with Khaled.”

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