Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said that he’s planning on his starters playing a little over a half in the team’s 3rd “played” preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday evening:
"Aug 13, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports“We’d like to get a good half of football in,” said Pagano on Monday. “Try to come out, go through a halftime procedure. Make the appropriate adjustments on both sides of the ball on special teams and then open the 3rd quarter. That’s what you put down on paper for this preseason game, and then you see how that first half goes.”“If we reach a number, snap count-wise that we feel good about, that may or may not happen depending on what happens in the first half. You’d really like them to ‘blow out their lungs’ and play a significant amount of time.”"
It makes sense too, as the 3rd preseason game (assuming a team is not playing in the Hall of Fame Game) is typically the actual “dress rehearsal” for the regular season opener, as starters typically do not much play much–if at all in the preseason finale.
It’s worth noting that last preseason, neither starting quarterback Andrew Luck nor any of the team’s other offensive or defensive starters played against the Bengals in the Colts final preseason game–yet played a significant amount of snaps just a game prior.
For the Colts, Saturday could be the lone preseason appearance of veteran pass rusher Robert Mathis, who was held out of last weekend’s preseason game due to rest. It would be shocking to see either Mathis or Frank Gore for that matter play extensive snaps however. Both veteran players would be better served saving their legs for the regular season.
Nevertheless, the Colts starters should see quite a bit of action on Saturday night, which means this is really the preseason game to watch.