Indianapolis Colts

What to know and watch for at Colts-Lions joint practices

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH TV) — The Indianapolis Colts will host the Detroit Lions for a couple of joint practices this week before Saturday afternoon’s preseason game in Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Lions will visit Wednesday and Thursday at Grand Park Sports Campus.

Here’s everything you need to know before heading up to Westfield:

Schedule

Wednesday | Fan Appreciation Day

  • 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: Colts City.
  • Noon-1:55 p.m.: Practice.

Free Tickets

Thursday | Thirsty Thursday

  • 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: Colts City.
  • Noon-1:35 p.m.: Practice.

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What to watch

MATT RYAN: Head coach Frank Reich says the starters will not play in Week 2’s preseason game against the Lions, which means new quarterback Matt Ryan will be taking every opportunity for practice against the Detroit defense during training camp. Ryan is still getting a feel for his receivers and tight ends, so you can expect a lot of work to be done with the offense. However, Reich and Ryan won’t be giving the Lions anything too splashy before the regular season.

NYHEIM HINES: The Colts veteran running back has been a sight to see all through training camp as he transitions into an expanded role with the offense. He’s known to make a few thrilling catches during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. Head coach Frank Reich says the Colts haven’t even shown all their cards for Hines yet, but you can bet he’ll be a main target for Matt Ryan against the Lions defense.

ALEC PIERCE: The rookie receiver from Cincinnati has continued to impress throughout offseason camp and in the preseason game against the Bills. He’s a rising star that usually takes snaps with the 1’s. Going against the Lions defensive backs will be good experience for the Colts’ second round draft pick.

PASS RUSH: The addition of rapid fan favorite Yannick Ngakoue has injected energy into the Colts defensive front. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s style has also been a big change, emphasizing that pass rush and swarming the ball. All of this was seen clearly in the five takeaways the defense had in Buffalo. Now with a new set of faces on the other side of the line of scrimmage, the defense has a chance to grow that strength even more before the end of the preseason.

NICK CROSS: The youngest member on the active roster has been playing anything but during training camp. The rookie out of Maryland has been making a lot of noise against the starting offense in practice, having multiple pass breakups a day. With his impressive offseason, Cross is definitely in the conversation to start in his rookie season.

LOCAL STARS, COLTS: Cicero, Indiana, native Sterling Weatherford ran right into the spotlight Saturday with an interception in Buffalo. The Hamilton Heights graduate led his hometown team with eight tackles against the Bills. On the offensive line, Jason Spriggs (Indiana), Danny Pinter (Ball State), Dennis Kelly (Purdue) and Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame) all played college ball in the Hoosier State.

LOCAL STARS, LIONS: LB Derrick Barnes (Purdue), TE Brock Wright (Notre Dame), G Tommy Kraemer (Notre Dame), LB Julian Okwara (Notre Dame), LB Romeo Okwara (Notre Dame), LS Scott Daly (Notre Dame). Making the trip with the Lions will also be the “Hard Knocks” production crew. Detroit is this year’s spotlight for the popular TV show.