The Indianapolis Colts running back situation just got even more complex as the team announced the release of running back Chris Rainey.
Rainey was signed to the Colts roster in November of last season, brought in specifically to help out with kickoffs and punts. However, with only 10 returns for the team in two games, he was put on season-ending injured reserve following a foot injury.
The running back’s short NFL career has been plagued with off-the-field issues. During his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rainey was arrested for battery charges. Soon after the arrest, Rainey was waived from the Steelers. He found a new home in Indianapolis last season, but couldn’t make it even a full year with the team. Head coach Chuck Pagano told reporters that Chris Rainey was released due to his breaking of a team rule. Rainey hasn’t done too much to impress at camp, often becoming lazy, not listening and occasionally even running the wrong play.
However, the move comes as a surprise following the injury to running back Vick Ballard just two days prior to Rainey’s release. It was expected that he would step in to the third RB role and take a prime role in punt and kickoff returns. Now, Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton will compete for the third spot while the other will likely remain on the team due to Ahmad’s Bradshaw injury history. Davin Meggett, added in wake of Ballard’s injury will also get a shot at making the active roster.
Rainey’s biggest contribution in his two games with the Colts were his returning skills. Likely, the kickoffs will now be handled by rookie wideout Donte Moncrief and punts will currently be handled by Griff Whalen.
Look for Indianapolis to make more moves following the release of Chris Rainey. Trent Richardson is being held out of practice due to a hamstring problem, leaving just Bradshaw, Herron and Tipton as the healthy running backs (with the addition of Meggett).