Colts’ Henry Anderson could return to active roster soon; Andrew Luck to see action in Saturday’s game

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Henry Anderson (left) and Andrew Luck (right)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On a day Chuck Pagano addressed the anticipated playing time for his Indianapolis Colts in Saturday’s preseason game with the Baltimore Ravens, it was an update on two players on inactive lists that drew the most attention.

Defensive tackle Henry Anderson and safety Clayton Geathers, each deep into rehabilitation following surgery, received positive news on recent medical re-checks.

In fact, Anderson, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Nov. 8, apparently is close to being moved from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster. The final decision now rests with the coaching staff.

“I think we’re close, really close,” Pagano said Thursday. “We’ve just got to make a decision when we want to do it.

“Basically the doctors said when (the coaches) feel good about it, we can do that and get him off PUP and get him going again.”

Throughout training camp, Anderson worked on an adjacent field with trainers and the rehab staff. He isn’t allowed to participate in team activities until he’s removed from PUP.

Although Anderson will be eased back into the lineup, his return would represent a serious boost for the defense. The 2015 third-round draft pick started the first nine games of his rookie season and was one of the unit’s more effective players. He had 37 tackles, one sack, five tackles for loss and four hits on the quarterback.

Anderson’s return would mitigate the possible loss of end Kendall Langford for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against Detroit. Langford underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month. The defense also will be without Art Jones for the first four games of the season. He was suspended by the NFL for violating its performance enhancing substances policy.

Geathers also received a positive re-check, although he seems to be further away from being activated from the non-football injury list. Last year’s fourth-round pick broke a bone in his right foot while working out on his own in July and has had a walking boot on his foot.

Geathers is the projected starter alongside Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams, although the foot injury jeopardizes that.

“Everything looks good,” Pagano said. “They’re going to ramp up his rehab and he’ll start to do a little bit more from a field-activity type of stuff.”

Work for Luck: Quarterback Andrew Luck is scheduled to make his first appearance of the preseason Saturday against the Ravens.

The initial plan is for Luck and the first-team offense to play “at least a quarter, maybe a quarter and a half,” according to Pagano. “Then you always play it by ear, see how things are going.”

Pagano indicated a few offensive starters – Luck and perhaps running back Frank Gore – won’t play as long as others.

“You’d like to keep the unit together as much as possible,” he said. “There’s some guys that need to play more. The center needs to play more.”

Rookie Ryan Kelly played 15 snaps last week at Buffalo, and that number undoubtedly will grow.

Also, linebacker Robert Mathis should see his first action of the preseason. He was held out of the Bills game after tweaking a knee during practice.

“When it’s on, it’s on,” Mathis said. “September is what it’s all about. August and early September is (about) getting your timing, getting to know your teammates and just figure out what type of team you have so we can go to battle during the football season.”

Ruled out: Players ruled out of Saturday’s game are guard Hugh Thornton (foot), cornerbacks Darius Butler (hamstring) and Jalil Brown (foot), linebacker Sio Moore (hamstring) and wide receiver Marcus Leak (quad).

Pagano said Butler has been dealing with a sore hamstring and “we’ve kind of just been taking care of him. Just want to err on the side of caution with him.”

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51