Colts OT Braden Smith, WR Ashton Dulin not participating in Wednesday’s OTA practice

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Braden Smith and wide receiver Ashton Dulin did not participate in Wednesday’s OTA practice, according to The Athletic’s James Boyd.

Smith appeared in just 10 games last season. Early on, it was a hip injury that had him sidelined, but a nagging knee injury would linger throughout the season, leaving Smith at less than 100 percent, even when he was on the field.

To remedy this, Smith had surgery during the offseason. He did not specify what the surgery was nor when he would be back on the field but he did say he was in a good spot.

“Coming out of the offseason, had successful surgery,” said Smith when meeting with reporters. “Had some stuff, you know, did some rehab this offseason, feel like I’m in a pretty good spot. Strength is coming back. Just making sure I can get through the season healthy and make sure we’re being smart with things.”

Smith didn’t allow a single sack last season. Among all offensive tackles, he ranked sixth in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency metric and made a big difference in the Colts’ run game, with the offense averaging 4.6 yards per carry when he was on the field compared to just 3.9 yards per rush when he wasn’t.

Dulin’s 2023 season would never get going after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury during practice last August. In 2022, Dulin caught 15 of his 20 targets at 13.8 yards per catch with a touchdown.

“I’m feeling great,” Dulin said during his offseason media availability. “I’m at a point in rehab where we’re ready to get rolling and get back on the field. No timetable yet but leave it up to the doctors. It’s above my pay grade. I’m feeling good, body is feeling great. I can’t complain at all.”

With the additions of Adonai Mitchell and Anthony Gould, the Colts’ wide receiver room has gotten more crowded, but Dulin has been a core special teams player for Indianapolis, playing 877 snaps across four different phases from 2019 through 2022.

That ability to contribute on special teams and his reliability on offense could help Dulin carve out a roster spot once again in 2024.

“Dulin was a huge loss,” GM Chris Ballard said. “Just because he gives you so much, not only on special teams, but his ability to play inside and outside. If you have to start him for a stretch, he can do it.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire