I've had the privilege to be a credentialed media member at the Indianapolis Colts training camp this summer, and with that, I have takeaways ahead of Saturday’s preseason opener. Anthony Richardson is obviously the name and storyline that will bring eyeballs to various screens nationwide, however, there are still plenty of talented individuals who deserve attention.
Other big names such as Shaquille Leonard, DeForest Buckner, and Quenton Nelson will more than likely be sidelined for most, if not all, of the preseason, giving opportunity for those below them a chance to shine.
Let’s take a look at some camp standouts, that haven’t established themselves yet, but could start doing so in the preseason.
1. Josh Downs has been a camp standout for Colts
Does anybody happen to know AJ Brown's Twitter handle (1kalwaysopen) or am I just chronically online? If you didn't before, you know now and let's just say that's Josh Downs in a nutshell. All camp long Downs has consistently gotten open, just as he did at North Carolina. Not only this, but his hands are more reliable than a dog's greeting after a long day.
It bodes well for Downs in terms of playing time opportunities, as he's been slated as the backup slot receiver throughout camp. Head coach Shane Steichen revealed his plan yesterday to play the starters for "about a quarter" on a case-by-case basis, so look for Downs to get a touch more playing time than his mentor and slot-mate, Isaiah McKenzie.
Downs has been productive with each of the quarterbacks battling for the starting gig, but even more so with Gardner Minshew who is set to be his QB with the twos. Just recently in practice, Minshew and Downs connected on a littany of short completions that resulted in additional yardage thanks to Downs' RAC ability. Look for these two to be hooking up early and often.