By Steve Ungrey on August 9, 2014
As the preseason gets underway for the Indianapolis Colts, there are players to keep an eye on throughout August. Some players you may already know, and others may be off your radar screen. Here are 10 Colts worth watching as the month goes along.
When Trent Richardson came over last season, his excuse was not having a full preseason of preparation to get ready for the Colts' offense. That excuse won't fly this year, especially in the face of an injury to Vick Ballard. Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw will need to carry the load if the Colts have any hope.
The Colts saw last year what an injured Reggie Wayne could do to the team's offense. The receiving corps stagnated in Wayne's absence. Sure, it still made the postseason, but the Colts nearly lost to Kansas City before getting blown out by the New England Patriots. Can you imagine what a healthy Wayne would mean to this lineup?
The former New York Giants standout made as good an impression as he could fitting in with the team in training camp, but there will be a lot of pressure on him to replicate the nearly 900 yards receiving he had last year. Hakeem Hicks was brought in to take some pressure off of Reggie Wayne, so who knows how good the receiving corps can be in 2014?
This Ohio State offensive lineman and first-round draft pick will need to really shoulder the load. An injury to Khaled Holmes in the first preseason game weakened the line considerably, and this means Jack Mewhort may have to step up his game if the Colts are going to go anywhere this season.
Should something happen to either Richardson or Bradshaw, the team might have a potent weapon few people know about in Dan Herron. He looked solid in the Colts' 13-10 loss to the New York Jets. Yes, it's just preseason, but Herron could be someone to watch in the running game when all is said and done.
Raided from the Baltimore Ravens via free agency, this solid defender will bolster the team's defense immediately. Defense has been a solid problem for the Colts for a while, as witnessed by the two playoff games last year where opponents racked up high scores, and Arthur Jones could be a big plug for those defensive holes.
Whatever work T.Y. Hilton doesn't do with the receivers, he will do with special teams, and this versatile wideout threat could help spring the Colts' return game in 2014.
The Colts' linebackers will need to come up big this season, and in the preseason game Andy Studebaker showed he could have a place sewn up on the defensive roster. He made Michael Vick run around a lot, which is not what you want a quarterback with an injury history to be doing. What could he do against other teams?
Another linebacker with a quiet reputation, Henoc Muamba recorded 12 tackles against the Jets on Thursday and could have cemented his spot in the lineup as well. Muamba is trying to crack a position that is already fairly loaded, but this first effort may have worked.
The man with a golden leg that has helped both the Colts and the New England Patriots may finally be slowing down. Sure, he still has a solid presence on the field as a kicker, but he has missed a couple shots here and there. It bears watching to see if this continues during preseason.
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