Colts rookies: Powers may start, Moala may not dress

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Jim Caldwell said Thursday that it looks like rookie cornerback Jerraud Powers will start against the Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium in place of Marlin Jackson, who will be limited to nickel duties. That would mean Powers, a third-rounder from Auburn, is ahead of veteran Tim Jennings.

Indications are another rookie, second-round defensive tackle Fili Moala, will rank as an emergency player or be inactive. He did not participate in practice Thursday and was added to the injury report with a knee.

With Ed Johnson serving a one-game league suspension, Caldwell was asked who would start at defensive tackle. He mentioned Antonio Johnson, Dan Muir and Eric Foster, but not Moala.

“I’ll know a little better tomorrow, but it will be a rotation,” Caldwell said. “Antonio Johnson, Muir, and Foster. Muir may be in a backup role. You’ll have a three-man rotation in there.”

If Moala doesn't have a role with Ed Johnson out, he's unlikely to have one early in the season when the Colts get Johnson back. He didn't do much in the preseason and the team has two ends in Raheem Brock and Keyunta Dawson who can shift inside if needed.

Those things are not necessarily indictments of the rookie.

If the Colts are deeper and healthier in front of him than they are in front of Powers, that could be a good thing. And if that gives them the luxury of treating him as a guy who needs time to develop, that may maximize his chances in the long term.