- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the Indianapolis Colts' roster:
This is the safest position on the roster for the Colts. They plan to always keep a veteran backup if Luck ever goes down with an injury.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
The Colts' running game took a hit when Vick Ballard was lost for the season with a torn Achilles. Chris Rainey, who had the inside track on being the No. 3 running back, was recently released after violating team rules. Harvey, who has made the switch from linebacker, has moved ahead of Stanley Havili to be the team's fullback because Havili is on the physically unable to perform list.
The final receiver spot will come down to Rogers and Griff Whalen. If the Colts want to play it safe, Whalen is the guy because he is familiar with Luck and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but Rogers has the size and speed the team likes. There is also the possibility the Colts keep six receivers.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
Allen, who missed all but one game in 2013, and Fleener have the potential to be one of the top tight end duos in the league. Doyle and Saunders are both familiar with the system after backing up Fleener in Allen’s absence last season.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
There are plenty of questions surrounding the offensive line outside of tackles Castonzo and Cherilus, especially with Donald Thomas (quad) out for the season. The one thing general manager Ryan Grigson wanted with this group is depth. The Colts have plenty of it.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (6)
Like the offensive line, the Colts want depth on the defensive line so they can constantly rotate in players, so come the fourth quarter they still have fresh legs to get after the opponent. Jones was the key offseason acquisition for the Colts. Chapman showed flashes last season; now he needs to do it every snap that he is on the field. McKinney makes the roster now that Jeris Pendleton is out for the season with a torn ACL.
All eyes will be on outside linebacker as the Colts look to find a replacement for Mathis, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. Werner gets the first crack at starting in Mathis’ spot. McNary is a player for whom Grigson has high expectations. It will be up to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on how he uses McNary.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (10)
It is anybody’s guess how the secondary will perform. It is anybody’s guess who will start alongside Landry at safety. It looked like it would be Howell early in the offseason, but the Colts signed the veteran Adams in June. Can Toler finally remain healthy? Can Davis live up to his contract? So many questions with no answers at the moment.
This only changes if an injury occurs.
436dMike Wells and David Newton