Indianapolis Colts: Don't Expect to See Many Regulars Thursday Night Against Cincinnati Bengals

By Eric Smith
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis, IN- The Indianapolis Colts will take on the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night for the preseason finale. Most of the coaches on the Colts side have said they don’t plan to play Andrew Luck or many of the starters much more than a possession if any at all.

With the game being tomorrow, I wouldn’t expect to see Luck or any of the first teamers play. There’s really nothing to gain as they have the experience now and don’t have much to prove. They’ve made it this far and need to be healthy for Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders. Why risk injury by playing them one meaningless possession?

Another factor on why not to play Luck is the injuries to the guys protecting him. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo will be out as will likely a few more linemen. Factor in both tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener will be held out and likely lead receiver Reggie Wayne and it makes it meaningless to play Luck.

If he’s out why play Vick Ballard when Ahmad Bradshaw is going to be out too. We know those are going to be the top two guys on the depth chart, so why let Ballard get knocked around when he doesn’t need to?

The running back position, much of the offensive line, tight ends and quarterback spots are pretty much set. The only thing left to see on the offensive side of the ball is who can make the last two receiver spots. It’s going to come down to Griff Whalen, Jabin Sambrano and Jeremy Kelley Thursday night to nab the last two spots joining Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey as receivers on the opening day roster.

On the other side of the ball there’s still a lot to play for as far as backups go. Linebackers are pretty much set, but the defensive ends, back up free safety and final cornerback spot on the roster are up for grabs.

Marshay Green and Josh Gordy will compete for the final cornerback spot while Montori Hughes, Lawrence Guy and Ricardo Matthews will be competing for the final defensive end roster spot.

All of these battles will be ones to watch for Thursday night as you won’t see many of the big names playing.

What to Watch For:

WR- Two of the following need to stand out: Jeremy Kelley, Jabin Sambrana, Griff Whalen

FS- One of these guys will earn a spot and needs to distance himself:  Sergio Brown and Delano Howell

DE- One of these guys will get a spot: Montori Hughes, Lawrence Guy, Ricardo Matthews

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