- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - The Colts went to training camp searching for answers.

They went home with even more questions.

On Wednesday, Indianapolis celebrated the end of workouts at Anderson University with players hooting, hollering and even jumping after an assistant coach fielded a punt from a JUGS machine to stop practice 40 minutes early.

It was a stark contrast to the hard knocks the Colts endured over the previous three weeks.

“I think as long as we stay on track and, knock on wood, we can avoid the injury bug I know we’ve had some to this point,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “If we stay healthy, I think this team has the potential to do some great things this year.”

That’s a big if, given the Colts recent history.

A year ago, five offensive starters sustained season-ending injuries before the end of October. Indy also finished the regular season with six different offensive line combinations in the last six games.

It didn’t take long for the injuries to start piling up this year, either.

Two days into practice, they lost running back Vick Ballard for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.

Four days after that, they lost starting left guard Donald Thomas for the second straight year with a season-ending torn right quad.

Last week, in their preseason opener, linebacker Daniel Adongo (ruptured biceps) and defensive lineman Jeris Pendleton (torn ACL), both backups, were lost for the season and two young offensive linemen also were injured.

Starting center Khaled Holmes is expected to miss at least one or two more weeks with a sprained right ankle and rookie offensive lineman Ulrick John could miss the rest of the season with a lower right leg injury.

Pagano’s adjustment with only two undrafted rookies on the roster was to re-sign Thomas Austin, who played in one game last year with Indy, and having second-round draft pick Jack Mewhort to take some snaps at center Saturday in addition to his duties at left guard. Mewhort’s sore right knee then flared up and he hasn’t practiced since then.

While some are concerned about how this young group will hold up in game conditions, Andrew Luck isn’t one of them.

“I’m very comfortable with all the changes and what’s going on,” he said. “I think we’ve seen a bunch of guys, not just five guys, who can really play football. They’re a pleasure to play behind, they’re good dudes so no qualms at all about what’s going on there.”

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