Andrew Luck won’t participate in the joint practices between the Lions and the Colts in Indianapolis on Thursday and Friday. Luck’s shoulder injury will keep him out of Sunday’s preseason opener too.
The Colts will miss him much more than the Lions will.
His absence doesn’t matter one iota to the Lions’ defense.
“It doesn’t change what we’re trying to get done, obviously it changes who we’re going against,’’ Lions safety Glover Quin said on Wednesday.
“I don’t know how it changes what they’re doing and how their offense will run. For us the goal is the same to go out, compete it doesn’t matter who they have out there, just go out and compete, get better, work on our stuff, focus on us and see what happens.’’
This is the second straight year the Lions have had joint practices away from their facility in Allen Park. Last year they spent a few days near Pittsburgh working against the Steelers.
Coach Jim Caldwell spent 10 seasons on the Colts’ coaching staff which could have played a role in the decision to head to Indianapolis this week.
“First of all, I think you practice against people that you have like mindedness in terms of how you practice, what you want to get accomplished and things of that nature, so I’ve been knowing Chuck (Pagano) for a while and I think we’re going to be able to have a couple of really good sessions and then obviously the game in itself,’’ Caldwell said.
“But No. 1, it’s a great evaluation tool. The proximity is good for us obviously, and the great thing is it’s our first ball game so we get the chance doubly look at our team against another team as opposed to one day. Because you can’t always get everything you want to see in the actual game in itself in terms of number of guys in, things of that nature, because some things are unpredictable in terms of timing. But in a practice setting, you can set up a lot of evaluations and really take a real good close look at some guys,’’ Caldwell said a few hours before the team boarding the flight to Indianapolis.
The players are looking forward to facing opponents other than their teammates.
And the joint practices give the coaching staffs more information about the 90 players they each have on the roster.
Sometimes joint NFL practices can get a little chippy with a skirmish here or there.
But Quin does not expect that will happen. The Lions are a disciplined team under Caldwell where it’s extremely rare for a fight to break out.
“We went to Pittsburgh last year, competed and didn’t have any issues. We know how to practice we should get two good days of work and keep moving,’’ Quin said.