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The Colts offensive line looks like it might

Posted: 16 Jul 2019 14:04

get a big boost this week as Ryan Kelly makes his return to practice after missing two weeks with an MCL sprain. That’s big news for a Colts offense that has clearly been impacted by his absence. The offensive line has been solid despite Kelly missing time Clayton Geathers Jersey , but the drop off from the pro bowl-level center to a backup is not insignificant, and Evan Boehm just doesn’t offer the ability Ryan Kelly does. That isn’t a knock on Boehm, who really has been great as a backup.However, Kelly is the leader of this offensive line and the guy responsible for calling out protections and keeping guys on the same page. That matters when you’re desperately fighting for a playoff spot and it is great news for the Colts. It remains to be seen whether Kelly will respond well in practice, and there is also the question of how right guard Mark Glowinski is doing after leaving last Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. If both are able to suit up this week, it will bode well for the finish of this season and mean a full offensive line that has been one of the best in football as they head toward a potential playoff berth. The impacts of a healthy offensive line are twofold. First, you’ve got a likely improvement in the running game, something the team has not been able to do effectively since losing Kelly and tight end Jack Doyle. When the Colts are able to run the ball, they are much more dynamic and difficult to defend. They’ve proven that they can beat even a good defense with the passing game alone, but if they are able to end the regular season providing a dual threat, they’ll be primed to do some damage. Second, you provide Andrew Luck with time in the pocket, something that has proven very hard to deal with for all but the best defenses in the league this season. With Luck continuing to look better and better as the season goes on and his connection with T.Y. Hilton heating up, this could be a major key to an electrifying finish to this season for this offense. NEW YORK 鈥?From a breakthrough quarterback to a unanimous choice, and from two brothers to four rookies for the first time 鈥?two from the same club, no less. The Associated Press 2018 All-Pro Team has something for everyone.Patrick Mahomes and three other Kansas City Chiefs players made the squad Friday. They were joined by the first rookie teammates since 1965 鈥?Colts left guard Quenton Nelson and linebacker Darius Leonard. The last time that occurred it was two future Hall of Famers, the Bears‘ Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers.Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the only unanimous choice in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league."That's surreal Nate Hairston Color Rush Jersey ," Donald said. "It's a blessing. Wow! You see the hard work pay off.聽A lot of credit to my teammates and my coaches for pushing me and helping me."Mahomes, Kansas City's second-year sensation, drew 45 votes at quarterback and was joined by teammates Travis Kelce at tight end, Tyreek Hill as the flex player and Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle.Kelce's brother, Eagles center Jason, also made the team."For me and my brother to both get it, it's that much more special because I still remember us in the backyard fighting with each other, playing football growing up, and we envisioned each other competing at the highest level, competing against the best players," Jason Kelce said. "And for both of us to be recognized as one of those guys is pretty special."Joining Nelson and Leonard as rookies on the team were Seahawks punter Michael Dickson and Chargers safety Derwin James."These are the kind of guys who have the DNA, the makeup of everything that we are looking for," Colts coach Frank Reich said of Nelson and Leonard. "All the intangibles, all the character qualities, everything about them. It's a really hard filter to get through to get marked that way, and both Quenton and Darius had that on their card. So that says something about their maturity and how fast we think they will develop."And already have developed.Chicago also had four All-Pros: edge rusher Khalil Mack, cornerback Kyle Fuller , safety Eddie Jackson and punt returner Tarik Cohen.Two players made All-Pro for the fifth time: Houston edge rusher J.J. Watt and Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly."It means a lot to get back to the top level of the game," said Watt, who missed most of the 2016 and '17 seasons with major injuries. "Obviously, it's an extreme honor to be a first-team All-Pro, especially after what I've been through the last two years and hearing the things that people were saying and questioning myself at times."To be able to get back to the top level of the game and know that I still have things to improve on and things that I want to get even better at, it's exciting."The All-Pro team was split: 14 AFC and 14 NFC members. There were 16 newcomers: Mahomes; Schwartz; Fuller; Jackson; Cohen; Saints receiver Michael Thomas; Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari; Eagles interior defensive lineman Fletcher Cox; Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore; Chargers defensive back Desmond King and special teamer Adrian Phillips; Jets kick returner Andre Roberts; and the four rookies.Players with previous All-Pro honors who made the 2018 team included Donald and Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, each for the fourth time; Mack, Dallas right guard Zack Martin and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, each for the third time; Hill; Rams running back Todd Gurley; and Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins."I think I really took a lot of pride in leadership," said Wagner, who drew 49 votes. "I knew that was going to be big if we were going to be successful. I knew I was going to have to up my role in that, up my mindfulness in that. I was really conscious of that and just making sure I was, when it came to getting back to the defense I looked at it from a different lens."Hopkins got the most votes on offense with 46."This is validation," Hopkins said. "I feel like these people are the people who actually know football, who study football, who have been around football for years. So to be on this list and to be first team is a great feeling. But it makes me want to work harder and continue to be on that list."100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta

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Posted: 26 Sep 2019 23:24

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