With no Colts starters playing, these are the guys to watch in preseason game against the Lions

Colts QB Sam Ehlinger (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Colts QB Sam Ehlinger (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

With most Colts starters out against the Lions, there still are many young guys trying to make a name to watch for during the game.

There are a few fringe starter guys on this Indianapolis Colts roster that I think will sit out the preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Nyheim Hines is one that comes to mind.  I don’t feel like he needs to play, we know what he is going to do on this team and how he will make an impact. But, with that being said, that does not mean that he will be out.

I am sure we will see some guys that have a chance of starting Week 1 if there are some unfortunate injuries, but for the most part, Indianapolis will be playing its reserves. Even though little to no starters will be playing, it will be fun to watch some players compete in position battles and fight for their spot on the team. Let’s take a look at some names to watch.

Offensive players to watch for Colts

The first position that comes to my mind when I think of offense is quarterback. Nick Foles will probably play a good amount of the game and will then be replaced with Sam Ehlinger, then Jack Coan will likely finish the game. I want to see more of Ehlinger. If you look back to the last preseason game against the Bills, when Sam was in, the offense moved the ball most effectively. I think that Sam could possibly be the backup quarterback for the future or maybe even see snaps in the future on Sundays if he keeps up his impressive performances.

I am also going to be watching the fifth wide receiver position battle closely. It seems to be between Dezmon Patmon and Michael Strachan. This will be an interesting battle that I feel will continue on for the next week or so. Both of these guys have been on the roster for over a year now, and have both shown flashes. I expect these two guys to play most of the game if not all of it. With such an important battle for a position need, I feel like this is one of the battles that we need to be watching for.

Jelani Woods is another guy that I am high on. With recent injuries, the door has been opened to him for more opportunities. He had a good first preseason game last Saturday in Buffalo against the Bills. He caught a nice touchdown pass from Ehlinger that sparked the Colts. The offense looked really good with him in the game. I am interested to see if he can follow up on his performance from a week ago and solidify his spot on this team.

Outside of the Colts’ big three on the offensive line, there are some questions. With none of the starters playing, some of these younger guys on the line will get a shot to see what they can do against some of the Lions’ players. The guy that I am most looking forward to seeing is the 2022 third-round pick, Bernhard Raimann. Currently, he is going to be the backup left tackle behind Matt Pryor. Pryor has not been wowing anyone by any means. I think that with a couple of good performances and the right situation, Raimann can see some time on the field this season on Sundays.

Some interesting battles on defense for Colts

The first battle that comes to my mind on defense is on the outside at corner. We know what we are getting from Stephon Gilmore, we know what we are getting from Kenny Moore. Guys like Isaiah Rodgers and Brandon Facyson have shown that they can ball too. I am interested in what is going to happen with the depth behind them. Guys like Marvell Tell and Tony Brown will be in position for the next spot.

Another guy that I believe we will see is linebacker E.J. Speed. Speed has been with the Colts for a couple of years now and has a chance to start this season if Shaquille Leonard is indeed out to start the season. Speed has shown that he can play. He also had a nice game against the Bills and is a lock to make this team either way due to his special teams play. It will be beneficial for E.J. to get as many snaps as he can get in the preseason.

Now, for one of the most fascinating groups on this team, the defensive line. There are a ton of young guys that will be playing that have a chance to pop off at any time. I think of guys like Ben Banogu, Dayo Odeyingbo, and Curtis Brooks. Banogu and Dayo were both on the Colts roster last season and will be on the roster but just need some more reps before the season starts. Curtis Brooks is looking for a defensive line spot as well. He was drafted in the sixth round this year and has been making plays that make me believe that he could be a solid addition to this team.

These will all be fun battles to watch within the big battle which is playing the Lions. There are going to be chances for guys to go take spots! That is one of the reasons that I love the preseason. The Colts are in good hands with many of these young guys, it is just up to them to show up and show out.