There's an old saying in NFL locker rooms this time of year: "You can't make the team from the training room." While several Indianapolis Colts have been sidelined with injuries, veteran WR Donnie Avery has probably been most injured by his injury.
Avery has been unable to go in either of the Colts' first two preseason games after injuring his groin in practice early in training camp. Prior to his injury, Avery had shown signs of returning to his pre-injury form when he caught 100 passes in two seasons with the St. Louis Rams. In fact, his injury came while making an acrobatic touchdown catch from Andrew Luck.
While there's competition all over the Colts' young roster, it's at wide receiver where it's perhaps its most fierce. The Colts spent two draft picks on TY Hilton and LaVon Brazill and brought in six other free agents in addition to Avery to compete with Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie. Add in Bruce Arians' penchant to use multiple tight end sets, and the number of receivers needed by the Colts would seem to be less than in years past.
With Collie's concussion issues, that opens up an opportunity for Avery to get a lot of reps with the first team offense on Saturday in Washington. With Hilton, Brazill and other members of the receiving corps staking out spots on special teams as well, that puts added pressure on Avery to show he's at worst the third best receiver in the bunch and is significantly better than anyone not named Wayne or Collie.
We're getting to the time in preseason when "The Turk" will start to make appearances, asking for the playbooks of players being released. Donnie Avery hopes that his performance this Saturday will spare him from the chopping block for at least another week.
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