Colts will have several intriguing battles in training camp

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's not a lot of suspense surrounding starting lineup battles for the Indianapolis Colts. Those are basically set.

The only suspense -- if you want to call it that -- is at center and potentially one of the safety spots. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus' health status will dictate if the Colts have to find a new starting left guard because Jack Mewhort will be forced to slide to right tackle if Cherilus isn’t ready to play yet.

There are some intriguing battles when it comes to being the primary backup at certain positions, though.

Starting center: Yes, the battle, which started last season, is still going on. The only player missing from it is A.Q. Shipley, who is in line to start with Arizona, but Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison are still around. The two split time with the first unit during offseason workouts. There’s still a long way to go before the Colts open the season at Buffalo on Sept. 13, but if I had to give a player the edge I'd give it to Holmes because he started the final five games of last season. Harrison lost the starting job last season partly because he had a difficult time delivering a clean snap to quarterback Andrew Luck.

Backup running back: It was put in permanent ink back in March that Frank Gore would be the Colts' starting running back next season. The real battle is to see who will back him up. Vick Ballard, Daniel Herron and Josh Robinson are the primary candidates. Ballard, who led the Colts in rushing with 814 yards in 2012, has only played one game since then because of a torn ACL and Achilles. He didn't take part in any team's offseason workouts because the Colts are taking a cautious approach with his return. Herron became the starter late last season after Trent Richardson flamed out. Herron finished with 351 yards rushing. Robinson is the Colts' sixth-round pick who coach Chuck Pagano said has the potential to be an every-down running back in the NFL. Herron likely has the edge at the moment, but this is a battle that could change by the day during training camp.

No. 3 receiver: T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson are set as the top two receivers. Things get interesting after that, as Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett and Duron Carter are the main players competing to be the third receiver. Moncrief had his moments as a rookie last season, finishing with 444 yards receiving. Dorsett, well, he’s simply fast. If the offseason workouts were any indication, the Colts will have a difficult time keeping the 29th pick in the first round off the field next season. Carter spent the past two season in the Canadian Football League, which should help his case when it comes to experience.

Starting nose tackle: Josh Chapman started 15 games last season, but he's not a lock to start because he's yet to be that dominating force in the middle of the line of scrimmage for the Colts. That’s why Montori Hughes and David Parry, the team’s fifth-round pick, will have an opportunity to take that spot away from Chapman during training camp. This could end up being one of the most competitive battles in camp.

Starting safety: Dwight Lowery is the frontrunner to start alongside fellow safety Mike Adams in the secondary, but keep an eye on fourth-round pick Clayton Geathers. Geathers earned a lot of praise from the coaching staff during offseason workouts to the extent that you should expect to see Geathers used in as a hybrid safety/linebacker role while also pushing Lowery for snaps next season.