Troubled receiver LaVon Brazill is no longer an Indianapolis Colt.
Just eight days after the NFL announced Brazill’s year-long suspension after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the Colts announced that he would be waived from the team. After missing the first four games of the 2013 season from a similar violation, this suspension comes as a result of Brazill’s second consecutive violation of the substance abuse policy.
The move by the Colts came as no surprise; the fifth wide receiver spot was wide open, and choosing the winner just got a whole lot easier. Now narrowed, the competition for the fifth receiver spot is between Griff Whalen and Da’Rick Rogers. Undrafted receiver Aaron Burks from Boise State was signed in Brazill’s wake, but the chances of him making the team are slim.
Brazill was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Ohio University. While he struggled to find playing time on a Colts team that is stacked at wide receiver, Brazill contributed in huge ways in the deep game. He may be best known for his solid performance in the Colts’ loss to the Patriots in the 2013 Divisional Round of the playoffs, posting 73 yards off of two catches, both for touchdowns.
In the former three-man battle for the final roster spot, Brazill was the heavy favorite over Whalen and Rogers. Now that he’s firmly out of the picture, the battle becomes much more even with each player having his own upside. Whalen gets the early advantage due to his late-season (and college) chemistry with quarterback Andrew Luck. However, Rogers has amazing upside and athletic ability, making him a player to keep an eye on. The loser will likely be cut and re-signed to the practice squad.
Brazill’s career may not be over, but it’s being put on the backburner for at least a year.