One of the most impressive rookies during Indianapolis Colts training camp has been tight end Drew Ogletree. Even as a sixth-round pick, he emerged this summer as a candidate to be Indianapolis’ top rookie for the 2022 season.
But now, the Colts will have to wait until 2023 for him to play in a regular season game.
Colts insider Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star reported Ogletree suffered a torn ACL in his right leg during practice on August 17. Ogletree underwent an MRI the same day of the injury to affirm the tear.
The torn ACL ends Ogletree’s rookie season. The tight end tweeted about his injury following the MRI.
As soon as the injury occurred, the Colts feared the worst. Head coach Frank Reich told reporters, “It didn’t look good.”
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Impressing at Colts Training Camp
Ogletree has been great throughout Colts training camp. He really began to stand out to the media and fans when he made an incredible one-handed catch for a touchdown during practice on August 4.
On the same day, NFL reporter Stephen Holder of ESPN reported the Colts coaching staff was “noticing” him.
Indianapolis drafted three offensive players ahead of Ogletree, including tight end Jelani Woods. Selected at No. 73 overall, 119 picks ahead of Ogletree, Woods was expected to be the rookie tight end to potentially become one of quarterback Matt Ryan’s favorite targets.
But it’s been Ogletree looking the best in practice. As a result, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said the sixth-round pick was “moving up” the team’s depth chart.
When the first Colts depth chart came out on August 9, both Ogletree and Woods were listed as primary backups at each tight end spot.
Undergoing an MRI
The Colts will find out how serious Ogletree’s injury is once he undergoes an MRI.
Should the sixth-round pick miss any of the season, that could be a serious blow to Indianapolis’ tight end group. The Colts drafted two tight ends to help replace veteran Jack Doyle, who announced his retirement in March.
Veteran Mo Alie-Cox is expected to be the team’s primary starter at tight end, but the Colts also could deploy a “tight-end-by-committee” approach.
Last season, Doyle and Alie-Cox each played more than 54% of the team’s offensive snaps. Not only did they about divide the snaps (57.77% of the offensive snaps for Doyle and 54.72% for Alie-Cox), the Colts used double-tight end sets regularly.
Should they do that again this season, there should be significant playing time for the team’s tight ends beyond Alie-Cox.
Indianapolis’ other starting tight end on the team’s first depth chart was Kylen Granson. He received 228 snaps (20.49%) as a rookie last season.
Ryan has traditionally loved throwing to his tight ends, especially in the red zone. During Ryan’s final season with the Atlanta Falcons, rookie tight end Kyle Pitts led the team with 110 targets, 68 receptions and 1,026 receiving yards.