The NFL preseason kicks off Sunday night, and we're beyond excited. Each day this week we'll run a look at the scouting points for the Hall of Fame Game featuring the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins.
QB: The elephant in the room is that Peyton Manning will miss the entire preseason with a knee injury. This is not something to take lightly, and the battle for #2 could quickly become the fight for #1.
Quinn Gray was signed in the off-season to compete with incumbent Jim Sorgi. All reports are that Sorgi has had a good camp, but Gray is more of a natural passer. He played well in spot duty for Jacksonville in 2007 and has the touch the Colts offense thrives on. Jared Lorenzen is most likely a camp body until Manning returns from injury.
RB: Don't expect to see Joseph Addai much in the preseason. Tony Dungy knows that this team is one more injury away from a fatal collapse. Losing Addai would derail their plans for '08. Dominic Rhodes is back in town and will shoulder some of the load during the warm-up schedule, but we look for Clifton Dawson, Mike Hart and Kenton Keith to share most of the carries. The Colts would like to find out which of these players to keep, as it's unlikely all five will make the roster.
WR: Marvin Harrison's recovery has been a hot topic in Indianapolis, and Sunday may be our first chance to see how far along he really is. Reggie Wayne is of course back as the team's go-to guy. There was a major hole in the slot last season when Harrison went down and Anthony Gonzalez was moved up to the #2 role. The Colts are hoping that Roy Hall or rookie Pierre Garcon will step up and fill out the 4th receiver spot. Don't rule out Courtney Roby as a contributor, especially in the pre-season.
TE: Dallas Clark is the focal point here, and will again be moved around a lot to maximize his talents. Jacob Tamme was drafted as an understudy to Clark and should see many reps on passing downs.
OL: The Colts drafted two players who we love in Mike Pollak and Steve Justice. Both will be thrown to the wolves Sunday night against a Redskins defensive line that is full of injuries. Outside of Pollak and Justice, we'll again be watching Tony Ugoh to see how he has improved with a full season under his belt.