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As the Indianapolis Colts conclude the preseason with a road trip to Ford Field to visit the Detroit Lions on Friday night, the final position battles will take place before roster cuts.
The culmination of training camp practices and preseason games have all led to this point where the finale will help determine the winners of the position battles before the team’s roster is trimmed down to 53 players on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
Here’s a look at the position battles for the Colts entering the preseason finale:
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
The battle for the backup quarterback role has been going on throughout training camp and the preseason. Starter Carson Wentz is back and seemingly ready for Week 1, but the competition between Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger is still raging. Eason seems to have the edge right now and will get the start on Friday night while the rookie in Ehlinger will be looking to bounce back from a porous performance in the preseason Week 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
The situation regarding the left tackle position has become even more complicated now that Eric Fisher has landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This could hinder his ability to continue progressing through Achilles rehab while he quarantines. Even so, the battle for his short-term replacement is being led by Julién Davenport, who had a strong game against the Minnesota Vikings. As long as he doesn't completely falter, the job is likely his over Will Holden and Sam Tevi.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Entering the preseason finale, the Colts seemingly have five spots all but locked up in the wide receiver room. That fifth spot belongs to rookie Mike Strachan. The Colts can't afford to risk sending him through waivers in order to sneak him onto the practice squad. The hype has gotten too noticeable. Still, that leaves the sixth and final spot open—assuming Indy keeps that many. Entering the finale, Dezmon Patmon and Ashton Dulin seem to be the two players battling it out with the former currently having a slight edge. This finale will be huge for both players and their chances to make the roster.
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With DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart entrenched as the starters, the Colts are looking at their depth on the interior defensive line. Finding a rotational three-technique is an objective for the Colts, and it seems that could belong to Andrew Brown, who has had a strong camp. Antwaun Woods, who has a hamstring injury, is likely leading the way for the backup one-technique behind Stewart. Other players like Chris Williams, Taylor Stallworth and Kameron Cline are also battling for roster spots.
No. 3 CB
AP Photo/Stacy Bengs
Entering the preseason finale, it seems third-year defender Rock Ya-Sin is leading the way as the starter on the boundary opposite Xavier Rhodes. He had a strong showing during the preseason Week 2 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings and could very well be the starter to open the season. Other players like T.J. Carrie, Marvell Tell and Isaiah Rodgers are all battling for bigger roles.
No. 3 Safety
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Colts Camp Practice Continues At Grand Park Sports Campus In Westfield Tuesday Aug 24 2021
This is an interesting one because it can go so many ways, and the final preseason game will be a big role in determining the outcome. Behind starters Khari Willis and Julian Blackmon, the Colts have tried just about everyone at safety. Andre Chachere has been a pleasant surprise while rookie Shawn Davis got some first-team reps this week. The veteran Sean Davis also made plays during practice this week, which is huge for him following a slow start to camp. This rotational spot is wide open and will be one of the more intriguing battles to watch.