Mewelde Moore picked a bad time to get hurt.
Moore, who is currently battling Delone Carter to be the Indianapolis Colts’ No. 2 running back behind Donald Brown, probably won’t play when the Colts travel to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field for Sunday night’s nationally-televised game. He suffered a rib injury in the team’s 38-3 preseason win over St. Louis.
The injury could prevent the ninth-year NFL veteran from getting a leg up on Carter, who is also expected to miss this week’s game with sore ribs. It would also keep him from getting a chance to face his former Pittsburgh teammates. Moore played for the Steelers from 2008-11 after beginning his NFL career with Minnesota (2004-07).
“It’ll be good to go back and see everybody,” the former Tulane running back said Tuesday. He added that while his ribs are feeling better, there is no timetable on when he’ll be able to play.
“[The ribs are] good. They’re doing well,” he said. “Right now, it’s just day-to-day [on when he will return]. Just doing everything that I need to do to get back out there.”
The Colts added Moore to the roster right before the start of training camp. Indianapolis’ decision to add him to its pool of running backs was a natural one. He is familiar with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, having played for him in Pittsburgh.
“I think I have a good idea on what it is he wants to do and what he wants from me. The beauty of it is, it’s a variety of everything. Being able to do a lot of jobs, a lot of tasks that he asks me to do,” Moore explained.
“I’m more than equipped to be able to provide that. It’s just all about me going out there and doing what I’m being asked to do and execute.”
Arians likes having the former Steeler around since he can fill a variety of roles within the framework of the offense. Moore can be a primary every-down runner. He can be the pass blocker in the backfield. He can be the short-yardage and goal-line specialist. Or he can be that runner to come into a game late in the fourth quarter and be the closer.
“I’ve been playing football for a while and the experience factor is a big key. Especially in the third down packaging, blitzes and recognizing what is going on. Being able to give assistance in that type of thing. I think the other part is being able to give valuable information to all the guys that are in your meeting room, in your group,” Moore said.
“Also, communication-wise, a clear understanding of what is going on, with defensive looks and potentially what they are going to run on us. Just being able to have that ability to see what individuals may bring to the table as far as the one-on-one match-ups and stuff like that. There are a lot of key things that experience brings to the table and I’m just really excited and happy to have the opportunity to provide that.”
I I I
n Arians goes back to Pittsburgh — The Colts’ first-year offensive coordinator is treating Sunday night’s game as just another road trip.
Pittsburgh and Arians parted ways after the 2011 season after eight seasons, the last five as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
“I don’t think anything about Pittsburgh until we play Sunday night,” he voiced after Tuesday’s afternoon practice.
Looking back at the Colts’ preseason win over St. Louis and ahead to the Steelers game, Arians says there’s a lot of work to be done.
“I thought we played fairly fast. Obviously made some explosive plays. But we lacked consistency. There was enough similar plays out there to make. Didn’t handle some of [the Rams’] blitzes very well. So we’ve got a lot of improvement to do,” he said.
“We’ve got to run the ball better. Each week just continue to improve. Maintain what we’ve done is fine and improve on our weaknesses.”
Arians, though, wasn’t happy about the performance of several of the Colts’ young receivers Tuesday because of too many dropped passes during the afternoon workout.
“I thought we were very lackluster in practice today, especially the rookies. I think they read the paper and fiddle-farted around out here and had a really poor practice,” he voiced.
“The veterans came out and practiced real good. Most of the rookies, especially the receivers, had a very poor day. We can’t be up-and-down with those guys. You’ve got to come out and practice every single day.”
n Fokou, Freeman inside — With starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer sidelined for at least six weeks with a fractured foot, former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Moise Fokou and ex-Canadian Football League standout Jerrell Freeman are expected to get an opportunity to step up.
Fokou worked primarily with the first defensive unit during Tuesday’s afternoon workout. Freeman, though, is listed as a first-team inside linebacker on the team’s updated depth chart. Mario Harvey, who can play inside or outside linebacker, is also getting a long look.
“The players respect the [heck] of out [Angerer],” defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said Tuesday. “He’s a good family man, he’s a good football player and he’s a great guy. And that’s what we’re going to miss about him for these next couple of weeks. But we’re expecting him to come back and play at a high level when he gets back.”
Manusky says that whether it’s Fokou or Freeman taking over for Angerer and lining up next to Kavell Conner inside, the Colts can’t afford much of a letdown in performance.
“Well it looks [Freeman will replace Angerer] for right now because he’s had the most reps underneath him going through [organized team activity practices] and mini-camp and then coming through training camp. So now is his time to shine and get in there and step into the starting unit and role with it, which I’m sure he can do it,” the Colts’ defensive coach said.
“From a speed, knowledge, across the board, he’s accepted the role. He knows what his role is and now he’s got to step up as a starter. He knows what he’s doing and he’s playing at a fast tempo right now, which I like and he’s got to continue to get better. With [Harvey] and with Fokou, we’re going to look at those two guys and they’re going to get a decent amount of reps in the walk-throughs and during practice and during the game.”
n Colts say no to Spann — Former Indianapolis North Central High School and Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann had a workout with Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Team officials, however, opted to go in a different direction after reportedly working out three running backs. Spann was with the Colts in training camp last year but was released before the start of the regular season. He also played briefly with Pittsburgh in 2011.
n Olympic guest — Tumua Anae, the sister-in-law of Indianapolis defensive end Fili Moala, visited Colts camp Tuesday afternoon.
Anae was a goal keeper for the U.S. Olympic women’s water polo team, which won the gold medal in the recently completed London Summer Olympics.
She posed for pictures with several players, who all wanted to take a look at her gold medal following the afternoon practice.
n Injury list — Among those sitting out Tuesday were outside linebacker Justin Hickman (knee), running back Delone Carter (ribs), Moore (ribs), Angerer (foot), inside linebacker Scott Luttrus (knee), offensive guard Mike McGlynn (ankle), wide receiver Donnie Avery (hip) and wide receiver Jarred Fayson.
Seth Olsen took over at right offensive guard Tuesday for McGlynn, who is expected to miss a couple of weeks.
n Keeping up with Luck — Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck completed 25 of 33 passes with a pair of touchdowns and an interception during Tuesday’s practice.
So far in camp, Luck has connected on 259 of 363 passes (with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions) thrown during seven-on-seven and 11-and-11 drills. Those numbers don’t include Sunday afternoon’s 10-for-16 and two-TD performance against the Rams.