While the Indianapolis Colts players and coaching staff came away from Sunday’s 38-3 preseason win over St. Louis with a fair amount of optimism, Coach Chuck Pagano announced some sobering injury news Monday afternoon.
The Colts will be without backup inside linebacker Scott Luttrus for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate injury in his knee in the first quarter of the Rams game. Also, one of Indianapolis’ two starting inside linebackers — Pat Angerer — will miss at least six weeks with a fractured foot. His injury also occurred in the opening quarter.
But it doesn’t stop there. Offensive guard Mike McGlynn incurred a high ankle sprain while running backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore have rib injuries.
Luttrus will have surgery in order to repair his ACL injury. Angerer is also expected to undergo surgery for his fractured foot. Pagano said that McGlynn, Carter and Moore will miss practice time.
• Moving up — With Angerer out, former Canadian Football League standout Jerrell Freeman will most likely move up the depth chart. Freeman was signed last spring after playing three seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, leading the CFL in tackles in 2011.
After playing collegiately at Mary Hardin-Baylor College, where he was named a Division III All-American as well as the Division III Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, Freeman had a brief stint in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.
The Colts will also take a long look at recently acquired inside linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd as well as Mario Harvey and rookie free agent Larry Lumpkin.
“Smart move by [general manager] Ryan [Grigson] getting two linebackers in here from Philly [Fokou and Lloyd] for the time being. Jerrell Freeman played well [against St. Louis] and the other guys played well,” Pagano previewed.
“We’ve got Mario Harvey, who’s been kind of jack-of-all-trades type of guy. He’s been able to play both outside linebacker positions. He’s played some inside linebacker positions for us. So it’s kind of by committee and then we’ll continue to look at the waiver wire and see what happens there. See if there’s somebody on the street that we’ve had some history with and see if we can bring somebody in.”
• No return for Gary Brackett — The former Colts middle linebacker has yet to sign with another NFL team after being released last spring. In recent conversations via Twitter, he has maintained his desire to continue his professional football career.
Pagano ruled out bringing Brackett back immediately.
“Gary’s name always comes up. Gary’s one of those guys that’s obviously played a ton of football here and played at a high level. And so, I wouldn’t say the he wouldn’t be a guy [that the coaching staff would consider] because of familiarity obviously,” the Colts coach said.
“It makes all the sense in the world but every decision that we make is based on what’s best for this team moving forward and winning. If that’s something that we want to look into, then we can always check that out.”
• Luck self-critiques — Andrew Luck is his own worst critic.
The rookie quarterback, the Colts’ No. 1 draft pick and the first overall selection in April’s draft, isn’t about to get too caught up in his statistics from Sunday’s 38-3 preseason win over the St. Louis Rams.
Yes, he completed 10 of 16 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns in little over a quarter and a half of work. Yes, he was on target pretty much all afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, compiling an impressive 142.7 passer rating.
And, yeah, he completed his first-ever pass in an NFL game for a touchdown.
But it’s only one game — an exhibition game at that — and there’s a long regular season that is scheduled to commence with a Sept. 9 game at Chicago’s Soldiers Field. There’s still a heck of a lot of work to do between now and then.
Luck, the son of former Houston Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck, understands that. He’s taking his first game performance in stride.
“It’s fun. It’s definitely fun. I’m just very privileged to be on a team with so many great guys. There’s a lot of youthful energy. But also some great veteran leaders like Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. A lot of fun,” he said after Sunday’s game.
“It’s fun to get a win. To get into a game and put some drives together. It’s great. I know and I think all the guys in the locker room realize that its a preseason. Let’s not get too excited about anything because no one goes back and at the preseason record for anything. But to get in there and put some stuff on film is special.”
His stats were impressive. But the Colts, like all the other NFL teams, didn’t game plan for their first preseason game.
“It was the same plays that we’ve working on all camp. We didn’t spend time devising a game plan and putting in special plays. We’re still taking that training-camp mentality where you’re not going to take a week to prepare for a team. You’ve still got as lot of things to get better on,” Luck said.
If there was one pass that he’d like to have back, it would be the incompletion to offensive guard Joe Reitz, who had lined up as a tight end on the goal line. Reitz, who played college basketball at Western Michigan but did not play football, had entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent tight end.
Reitz played two games against Indiana State during his WMU basketball career, averaging 19.5 points in the two Sycamores’ victories in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
Luck’s pass was thrown high, much to both players consternation.
“I feel terrible about that throw. He thinks I owe him about 20 steak dinners,” the rookie quarterback laughed. “Any time a lineman gets a chance to catch a touchdown, he deserves it. And I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain. I apologized to him. If the situation presents itself again, hopefully I’ll put it right in his belly. Or at least give him a chance to catch it.”
• Training camp resumes today — The Colts will have a closed morning walk-through practice at 9:30 a.m. and an open full workout at 1:50 p.m.
This is the final week of training-camp workouts at Anderson University. A second night practice is 6:30 p.m. Thursday and the final day of camp is Friday.
Todd Golden contributed to this report.