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Colts 2024 NFL Schedule Released for Anthony Richardson's Return from Injury

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Colts 2024 NFL Schedule Released for Anthony Richardson's Return from Injury


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The Indianapolis Colts came quite close to securing a playoff berth in 2023, and that was with Anthony Richardson appearing in just four games due to a concussion and season-ending shoulder injury.

Now fully recovered, Richardson is looking to ensure a postseason breakthrough for a team that showed serious promise even with a depleted roster at times last season. He will do so with playmakers in Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr. and AD Mitchell while facing this schedule:

2024 Indianapolis Colts Schedule

Indianapolis Colts @Colts

Drawn up to perfection. 🖍️<br><br>📺 2024 Schedule Release on NFLN <a href=”https://t.co/iajAkYCJCZ”>pic.twitter.com/iajAkYCJCZ</a>

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Indianapolis Colts @Colts

Without further delay. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ForTheShoe?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ForTheShoe</a> <br><br>📺 2024 Schedule Release on NFLN <a href=”https://t.co/WapibyiXux”>pic.twitter.com/WapibyiXux</a>

The Indianapolis season was successful in 2023 but that doesn’t mean the franchise didn’t attack the offseason.

The Colts agreed to extensions with Pittman, Zaire Franklin, Kenny Moore II, Grover Steward and Tyquan Lewis. These moves solidified the team’s defensive unit, while Pittman remains a top receiving option for Richardson.

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The most high-profile free agent is probably the player Indianapolis hopes barely touches the field. The Colts signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a one-year deal worth up to $8.7 million. This shores up the position behind Richardson, much like Gardner Minshew II did in 2023.

Flacco signed with the Cleveland Browns late into 2023 and had an excellent run, steering the team to a 4-1 record and a wild card berth. He won Comeback Player of the Year honors for his play and is rewarded with a deal in Indianapolis.

Other notable signings include safety Julian Blackmon and defensive tackle Raekwon Davis.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, Indianapolis secured edge rusher Laiatu Latu in the first round. He was the first defensive player taken in the draft and could be a huge piece to the Colts defense.

The Colts spent its second round pick on wide receiver Adonai Mitchell, who could be another solid option for Richardson. The Colts made seven additional picks in the draft on players who can contend for roster spots on both offense and defense.

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The battles within the Division will be notable, as the AFC South could be considered pretty wide open.

The Colts, Texans and Jaguars all finished above .500 in 2023. The Titans struggled to a 6-11 record, but still could pull off a major turnaround if it gets proper development on the roster.

The AFC South has been won by the Texans, Jaguars and Titans respectively in the last three seasons and has not had a repeat winner since Tennessee did so in 2020 and 2021. Indianapolis could be next in that succession and securing a strong record against those teams could be crucial to that goal.

Indianapolis will be playing at MetLife Stadium twice in 2024 as it plays both the New York Giants and New York Jets. It’s the first time the Colts have played away against both franchises in a season since 2006. Indianapolis won both games that season.

The Colts will also see two of the top three picks in the 2024 NFL Draft as it is set to host the Chicago Bears and Caleb Williams and will travel to Foxborough to take on Drake Maye and the New England Patriots. Additionally, the Colts will face No. 10 pick J.J. McCarthy and No. 12 pick Bo Nix, meaning it sees four of the six first-round quarterbacks from the Draft.

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Indianapolis, IN

Colts Could Trade for Former Pro Bowler

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Colts Could Trade for Former Pro Bowler


The Indianapolis Colts are beginning to work through the 2024 off-season with new hope and excitement that hasn’t been seen in quite a while from fans, players, and the staff. Head coach Shane Steichen and quarterback Anthony Richardson head a young and talented offensive side of the ball for Indianapolis. Last season, the league and fans barely got to witness what the two are capable of as a coach-QB combination due to Richardson’s season-ending shoulder injury. However, now that Richardson is throwing again, the two are readying up to hit opponents with fire in 2024. 

One of the more unknown position groups on the Colt’s offense is the running backs behind superstar Jonathan Taylor. Second-year pro, Evan Hull, is a receiving specialist who can be an underrated blocker but missed nearly all of 2023 with a torn meniscus. With Hull is Trey Sermon, who has been underwhelming overall in his career but showed small glimpses of promise last year whenever Taylor was out with injury. Aside from these two is Tyler Goodson, who is similar to Sermon. 

However, could more depth in this position room make sense? Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report thinks a low-risk trade should go down in a piece detailing NFL players who need a fresh start. For Indianapolis, it’s nothing more than giving up a 2025 sixth-rounder for a player that Steichen helped elevate to new heights. 

Indianapolis would be the optimal landing spot for a Sanders resurgence. His best season came with the Eagles when Shane Steichen served as offensive coordinator. He had 1,347 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022 before Steichen left to take the Indianapolis Colts head coach.

– Alex Ballentine | Bleacher Report

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To give up a 2025 sixth-rounder for a back like Miles Sanders isn’t much, especially considering he could fit right in as the replacement for now Cincinnati Bengals running back Zack Moss. When Steichen was the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, Sanders had the best season of his NFL career. Sanders carried the ball 259 times for an outstanding 1,269 rushing yards (4.9 yards per carry) and 11 rushing touchdowns. This performance also led to his lone Pro Bowl nomination. 

Without a solid offensive line and elite play-caller, Sanders fell as flat as can be for the Carolina Panthers in 2023. He put together just 129 carries for 432 rushing yards (3.3 yards per carry) and one score. Indianapolis is a perfect spot for Sanders given the coach, offensive layout, and price tag. If the former Pro Bowler only costs a sixth-round selection, Indianapolis should make this deal happen with the Panthers. The deal would replace Moss right away and with talent that possesses a higher ceiling. 

Want more Colts content? Check out the latest episode of the Horseshoe Huddle Podcast!

Follow Horseshoe Huddle on Facebook and X; subscribe on YouTube for multiple Colts live-stream podcasts per week.

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Indianapolis 500 preview: Josef Newgarden returns a different driver

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Indianapolis 500 preview: Josef Newgarden returns a different driver


INDIANAPOLIS — A social media post designed to introduce drivers in the Indianapolis 500 to the general public put Josef Newgarden in an awkward light when the reigning race winner was asked a simple question.

“Which IndyCar driver would you take on a road trip?” asked the questionnaire.

“Solo” Newgarden responded.

An odd answer for a driver who a year ago was practically inseparable from Scott McLaughlin, his Team Penske teammate. The “Bus Bros.” had a media company, a YouTube show and merchandise. They appeared to be the best of friends and McLaughlin celebrated Newgarden when the Tennessean finally broke through to win his first Indianapolis 500.

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Twelve months later, the Bus Bros. are no more, the friendship apparently unraveled after Newgarden went solo and unfollowed everyone on social media — including his wife — in a bid to rebuild his love of racing.

Winning the Indy 500 wasn’t as fulfilling as he had expected; for the two-time IndyCar Series champion, racing had become a grind of too many failures and not enough successes.

Insulated but re-energized when he returned for this season, Newgarden scored an emphatic victory in the opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida. Six weeks later, IndyCar discovered illegal push-to-pass software on the three Team Penske cars and threw out both Newgarden’s win and McLaughlin’s third-place finish.

Newgarden returns to the speedway for Sunday’s race as the defending Indy 500 winner but caught in a cheating scandal that has damaged his pristine reputation and that of Team Penske. A deeply embarrassed Roger Penske suspended four team members, including team President Tim Cindric, Newgarden’s strategist.

If the drama is distracting Newgarden, he’s not let on.

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He qualified third to complete Team Penske’s first front row lockout in Indy 500 qualifying since 1988. McLaughlin won the pole and Will Power qualified second.

Asked how different this year has felt from last season, when Newgarden won in his 12th try, he felt nothing much has changed.

“Feels really similar to me in a lot of ways. I feel a lot of respect for this facility and this race, this track,” Newgarden said before turning the topic to how good his Chevrolet was a year ago. “We were fortunate enough as a team, as a group, where it just fell into place for us. We had a great car. … it was our day.

“I feel the same in that regard. I think I’ve got another great race car,” he continued. “I had sort of let go of the fact that I was ever going to win this race. It’s such a tough race to win, I think you had to be comfortable with that. I think that rings true for a second. I’m happy to be here, happy to have a shot.”

PADDOCK UNREST

There remains dissatisfaction about the scandal, particularly from teams who simply don’t believe the Team Penske explanations as to how Newgarden, his engineers and McLaughlin found nothing to be amiss when their horsepower boosts worked when they should not have. IndyCar said Penske drivers had manipulated the push-to-pass software system on their cars; Penske and Cindric called it a miscommunication and breakdown in process.

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Zak Brown, head of Arrow McLaren Racing, said the Penske punishments were too light; he called Cindric’s presence at Penske’s sports car win at Laguna Seca two weeks ago while under suspension “a bad look.”

There is skepticism that Cindric won’t be involved in some form in the race. IndyCar set no parameters on what the suspended team members can or can’t do, leaving the discipline to Penske to dole out. Penske owns not only the race team, but IndyCar itself, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500.

“Do I think Tim Cindric is engaged during the Month of May? Yes. In what way, I don’t know the rules they set out, I don’t know that,” Brown said. “But do I believe that Tim Cindric is sitting on his couch, turning on the race and watching it as 5 of 6 million other people are? No.”

Newgarden can win a $440,000 bonus from trophy-maker BorgWarner if he becomes the first driver to win back-to-back Indy 500s since the award was established in 1995. It’s been claimed only once — by Helio Castroneves after 2001 and 2002 victories — and only five drivers in 107 runnings have won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in consecutive years.

Newgarden is the race favorite, followed by McLaughlin and Kyle Larson, according to BetMGM Sportsbook.

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The odds made McLaughlin a little nervous and same for Larson, who couldn’t understand why anyone would “waste their money betting on me.”

Said McLaughlin: “My first Indy 500, I was headed out to driver intros and some guy screamed at me he’d bet $20,000 on me to win. And all I could think was ‘Why?’”

LARSON EFFECT

This year’s race has NASCAR star Kyle Larson in the field as he attempts to become the fifth driver in history to complete “The Double” and race in both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

The 2021 Cup Series champion is the first driver to attempt the 1,100 miles of racing since Kurt Busch in 2014. Weather is not in his favor with the Indy forecast calling for rain on Sunday.

Larson qualified fifth for his debut Indy 500 and a year’s worth of prep has gone into his joint effort between Arrow McLaren Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick, his boss, now seems to be having second thoughts about pulling Larson from Indy to get him to Charlotte Motor Speedway in time for the evening’s NASCAR race.

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“At this point, just hoping the weather cooperates to get all 1,100-miles in. It’s been something I’ve looked forward to for close to two years,” Larson said. “It doesn’t look too promising for Indy on Sunday, but I think for me, where I sit, if it’s going to rain, I hope it rains all day. That way it can just get pushed to Monday or something. We can get (NASCAR) in on Sunday night and then come here Monday.”

McLaren boss Zak Brown said the decision would be solely for Hendrick to make.

CHEVROLET vs. HONDA

Chevrolet clearly had the speed benefit in qualifying when the engine maker claimed the first eight spots in qualifying. But Honda showed it can hold its own in race trim, which means there is no obvious favorite for Sunday.

“I think Chevrolet has a little bit of a power advantage right now, but you never know once the race starts,” said Chip Ganassi, who failed to qualify any of his five Honda-powered cars inside the top 12. “I’ll take a handling car any day over horsepower.”

BROWN’S OWN DOUBLE

Brown has his own eye on the weather and a plane ticket on hold for Saturday to take him to the Monaco Grand Prix if it appears the Indianapolis 500 will be rained out.

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He would then attempt his own version of “The Double” and watch his F1 drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri on Sunday in Monaco, then return to Indianapolis for the 500 on Monday. If he decides to stay in Indianapolis but the 500 is rained out, Brown said he’d travel to North Carolina to cheer on Larson in the Coca-Cola 600.

“I just hope it’s not a rain delay,” Brown said. “I hope it’s either a washout, chucking down rain and we’re not racing Sunday and leave, go to Charlotte, and come back. That’s the delay I want.”

Indianapolis 500

When: 9 a.m. PT Sunday (green flag scheduled for 9:45 a.m.)

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

TV: NBC Ch. 4

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Kyle Larson hopes rain and his daughter's misgivings don't ruin Indianapolis 500 debut

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Kyle Larson hopes rain and his daughter's misgivings don't ruin Indianapolis 500 debut


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Audrey Larson, all of 6 years old, is rooting for Alexander Rossi to win the Indianapolis 500. And if her dad doesn’t flip his car — she is pretty convinced he will — then maybe he can finish second.

That’s some kind of cheering section that Kyle Larson is taking into “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Yes, the daughter he just whisked to Paris to see Taylor Swift as a birthday gift has chosen a rival over her father in his Indianapolis 500 debut on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Larson, a father of three, is trying to become the modern-day version of Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart by showing once again that he is capable of winning in any kind of car. And the latest challenge for the sprint car superstar-turned-NASCAR champion is to become just the fifth driver in history to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 in North Carolina on the same day.

Stewart in 2001 is the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles. Kurt Busch in 2014 is the last to even try.

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Larson hasn’t asked for much advice — mostly because he doesn’t even know what to ask about driving an Indy car — but the greats who came before him aren’t too concerned with how he will perform starting fifth in a joint effort between Arrow McLaren Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, his NASCAR team.

“He has the potential to do what’s never been done and win both of these races,” Stewart said. “He’s just one of those naturally talented guys that you can put him in anything and he can drive it.”

The list of drivers who try both open-wheel racing and stock car racing is long and the differences are stark. Stock cars can take a beating and contact is part of the deal; Indy cars are far more fragile, and contact with a competitor or wall can end someone’s race immediately.

Robby Gordon attempted “The Double” five times ,with his 2002 showing of eighth at Indy and 16th at Charlotte his best attempt. He too believes Larson can win both races; Larson already won the 600, NASCAR’s longest race, in 2021.

“Kyle has a shot, a legitimate shot,” Gordon said. “We may look at him as a stock car driver, but he knows where his wheels are, he’s not worried about clipping wheels with anybody or getting tires tangled. We all know he’s not scared, and he’s also light, that’s going to help him. He’s got a lot of advantages, and Kurt Busch did a great job, but I think Kyle will do a better job.”

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The deal between Hendrick and McLaren is for two years, which could be the smart play if the Indy 500 gets rained out Sunday. The forecast is iffy at best. Rick Hendrick has indicated he would have a hard time pulling Larson out of Indy to get to Charlotte, but it is a possibility the NASCAR team owner holds Larson to his day job.

McLaren boss Zak Brown said the decision will be left to Hendrick, who brought Larson’s entire No. 5 crew to Indianapolis on Friday for Carb Day to give those employees a chance to experience the Indy 500 atmosphere.

Larson has been working on the project for more than a year, but he has truly embraced the past two weeks at the historic speedway. Rain washed out a bunch of track time the first week, but since then, he has milked a cow, participated in community day at a local elementary school and was set to lead the annual driver parade Saturday through downtown Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are allowing Larson to be first in the parade to shorten his time in the city, giving him a buffer in getting to Charlotte later Saturday for qualifying for the 600.

Larson, who runs the Daytona 500, some of the top sprint car races in the world and won the sports car showcase Rolex 24 at Daytona, thinks many big events can learn from the pomp and pageantry of Indianapolis.

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“This is like Disneyland or the Disney World of racetracks. It is the nicest facility,” he said. “Two weeks of stuff, buildup to the race — there’s so many things that make this event feel different and bigger. But yeah, there’s no other event I’ve been a part of to this point, and I haven’t even gotten to race yet, that’s felt quite as big as the Indy 500.”

Larson said his 9-year-old son, Owen, has grasped the magnitude of the Indy 500. Audrey remains unimpressed, while 17-month-old Cooper is just along for the ride.

“Audrey thinks I’m crazy. She’s said it multiple times, ‘Why are you going to get in a car that you are going to flip?’” Larson said. “Every time we’ve talked about it, she says it. I don’t know where she’s seen it. Owen, I think he gets how cool the cars are and how big the space is, and I hope Audrey does once the race gets here.”

Audrey seems to be alone in her opinion about dad, given that some of the best drivers in motorsports history seem to be in Larson’s corner. McLaren is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first of its two Indy 500 wins with Johnny Rutherford this year, and “Lone Star JR” went to Kokomo Speedway last week to watch Larson race a sprint car.

“He’s a racer,” said Rick Mears, the four-time Indy 500 winner, who downplayed Larson’s lack of IndyCar experience. “I’ve said for years that I can come out here or anywhere and test for three weeks and I will learn more in the first 30 laps of the race than I learned in three weeks of testing. Because in testing and practice, you don’t get put in positions that you do in the race. And that’s when you start learning.

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“That’s where his learning curve is, right? He’s dealt with similar stuff through the years. He’s going to have his work cut out for him, but if he does the job I think he will, he’ll have an opportunity.”

___

AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing





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