Thursday’s game is the last opportunity for players to put good plays on tape for all 32 teams. Many of the athletes on the field will be auditioning for an NFL job for the 31 other clubs.
The Colts had an eventful week. Andrew Luck stunned the NFL world when he announced his retirement from football. What was even more bizarre is news broke of his impending retirement during Indianapolis’ home preseason tilt against the Chicago Bears. Luck was on the sideline chatting with his teammates as fans were simultaneously checking their phones in complete disbelief.
Jacoby Brissett, who obviously won’t play Thursday, will take the reins as Indianapolis’ starting quarterback. Brissett, 26, has 17 career starts going into his fourth year. The Bengals are the first opponent for the Andrew Luck-less Colts.
Undrafted free-agent rookie quarterback Jake Dolegala is going to get his most extensive action on Thursday night. The quarterback is eagerly anticipating being behind center in the team’s preseason finale.
“I’m super excited. I’ve been waiting a while for this to happen. I’ve been waiting patiently. I think I’ve done just about everything I could do as far as mentally to get ready for this game,” Dolegala told The Enquirer.” I want to show I have command of the offense. I think I have to prove to them mentally that I can work through progressions, I can make the correct run checks (and) the correct protection checks. If I can do that well I think the coaches will think that’s good of me.”
In his first NFL game last week, Dolegala showed well for himself. He was 10-of-12 passing for 94 yards and had two touchdown passes. “I thought I did well. I know Zac (Taylor) did a good job with the play calls to set me up to succeed. I was happy with what I did,” Dolegala said of his performance in preseason game three.
The Enquirer predicts the rookie out of Central Connecticut State is headed for the Bengals practice squad. Renell Wren had his best preseason game last week. The fourth-round pick defensive tackle totaled three tackles and one quarterback hurry against the Giants. The Arizona State product is expected to play plenty versus Indianapolis. His technique in the interior continues to improve.
“My mindset is take the fundamentals to the field and let everything playout by itself,” Wren told The Enquirer. “The biggest thing is staying low and being explosive and have awareness of the football. I want to show the team that I have the capabilities to provide a lot for this team going down the long run.”
Rodney Anderson made his NFL debut last week after suffering an ACL tear in college last September. One of the biggest hurdles after returning from an ACL injury is mentally having confidence in the repaired knee. The rookie showed he is confident in his right knee during his first game back. He planted on the knee a few times and had a burst catching passes out of the backfield.
Anderson’s 12 touches led the team in the 25-23 loss to New York. The Bengals starting cornerback won’t play versus the Colts. But he had strong feelings on Indianapolis fans booing Andrew Luck as the quarterback’s retirement news circulated around Lucas Oil Stadium last Saturday night.
“They disgusted me. They feel like we are robots and animals or in-caged people that have to abide by all their rules. That was very disrespectful. (Andrew Luck) has done so much for that organization,” Kirkpatrick told The Enquirer. “He is first class (and) he’s one of the nicer guys on the field. I definitely feel like they should’ve shown him more respect.”
The Bengals have a 16-11 record versus the Colts in preseason play. Indianapolis (0-3) is winless this preseason. The Benglas’ (1-2) one win came against Washington.