INDIANAPOLIS – Kenny Moore really didn’t want to talk about his injured thumb Tuesday.
The Indianapolis Colts cornerback hurt the digit during practice leading up to the Week 3 preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement breaking during the fourth quarter of that contest took the injury temporarily out of the public discourse.
But Moore still has a soft wrap on the thumb as Sunday’s season opener at the Los Angeles Chargers approaches.
“(There’s) a little (frustration), but we’re all on the same page about it,” Moore said. “So I don’t have any questions, they don’t have any questions about it. They know how it feels.”
Despite the defender’s elusive answers, the team appears confident in his availability.
“Kenny is operating normal business,” defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said. “We expect him to go normal as he goes. He’s going to be OK.”
That’s good news for a young Indianapolis secondary as it prepares for quarterback Philip Rivers and a strong passing attack.
Rivers threw for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2018, and he’s the first of many productive quarterbacks on this year’s schedule.
The Colts also will face Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 22, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 7 and Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 3, just to name a few.
“They’re excited about the challenge,” Eberflus said of the defense. “We’ve got to face them one at a time. We don’t have to face them all at once. We just have to face them one at a time and execute.”
Moore is looking forward to playing with his new unit for the first time.
Though there are many returning faces in the secondary, including safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers, it won’t look exactly like 2018.
Quincy Wilson now has a diverse role that can see him play any of the five defensive back positions, and rookie cornerback Rock Ya-Sin will be a starter alongside Pierre Desir on the outside in the nickel package.
Another rookie, safety Khari Willis, has the versatility to play both safety positions and can be used accordingly in sub packages.
“Just trying to put the pieces together first game of the season,” Moore said. “The first game is always the first game. You’re gonna have mistakes, things are gonna happen, they’re gonna make plays but you gotta bounce back.”
Wide receiver Deon Cain has come a long way to Sunday’s regular season opener.
A knee injury in his preseason debut at Seattle last year wiped out his entire rookie season, and it took him a couple weeks into training camp to rediscover his full burst and mobility this summer.
Cain was a standout during the exhibition season with 12 catches for 169 yards and a 46-yard touchdown.
Now it’s time to play when it counts, and the moment isn’t lost on the 23-year-old.
“It’s going to be big,” Cain said. “It’s going to be a lot of emotions for me at first, but I’m pretty sure after the first couple of plays or that first reception, everything will get back to normal. I just want to slow the game down once I get out there and not try to play too fast or do too much. So that’s really my goal going into it.”
New quarterback Brian Hoyer spent Tuesday in meeting rooms and film study doing whatever he can to catch up on the Indianapolis offense.
It’s a daunting task with the regular season opener so near, but it’s one offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni believes the 10-year veteran can manage.
Sirianni calls Colts head coach Frank Reich the “best backup quarterback in the history of football” and believes that gives the team unique insight into the qualities necessary for the position.
“It takes a special guy to be a good backup quarterback, and we think we found that in Brian,” Sirianni said. “He has been a backup for so many different teams. I can’t tell you how many different texts I got yesterday from former players that played for me in the past, that played with Brian, or his former coaches that said – and it was like it was the same text, like it was a joke, it was the same text every single time no matter who it was from – ‘you’ve got a real pro there.’
“He is going to be a great asset to Jacoby (Brissett). So that was really comforting, and obviously our scouts did their job to really do their homework on that. Brian has been a great backup quarterback in the NFL for a long time now.”