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June 12, 2012

COLTS: Luck era begins at Colts minicamp

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts began its full-squad mandatory minicamp around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Just four minutes later, with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck completing a short lob pass downfield to veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, the torch was officially passed former starter Peyton Manning to begin a new era for the franchise.

Per National Football League rules, Luck wasn’t allowed to attend Indianapolis’ three-week organized team activity practices — which wrapped up last Thursday — since spring quarter classes hadn’t ended at Stanford University.

He was one of three Colts who were forced to miss the entire OTA workout schedule, along with rookie wide receivers Griff Whalen (also at Stanford) and LaVon Brazill (Ohio University). A fourth rookie, tight end Coby Fleener, participated in the first two weeks of OTAs but missed the final sessions due to graduate student finals at Stanford.

Whalen, Fleener and Luck will return to Palo Alto, California this weekend for Stanford’s graduation exercises. The ceremonies are Sunday.

Luck’s pass to Wayne was symbolic of all the changes that have occurred with the Colts since the end of the 2011 season. No more Manning, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, Pierre Garcon, Jacob Tamme, Anthony Gonzalez, Jeff Saturday or Ryan Diem on offense. Nearly two-thirds of the roster that started the 2011 season are no longer with the team.

The Tuesday morning practice consisted of an hour-long walkthrough session in jerseys and shorts. A more involved workout, lasting about two hours with players wearing helmets, took place in the afternoon.

In total, the Colts are scheduled to have four practices during the three-day minicamp (two Tuesday, one today at Lucas Oil Stadium beginning at 2 p.m., and a final workout Thursday morning back at the team’s West 56th Street headquarters). This afternoon’s practice is open to the public.

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