The Indianapolis Colts cut their roster down to 53 players Saturday afternoon. In the process, they made some obvious and some questionable roster moves.
General manager Ryan Grigson, head coach Chuck Pagano and the coaching staff have solidified their active roster for Week 1. This group will certainly look different from the one the Colts fielded last season.
The team released an official statement that detailed all the moves they made at the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline. Here is how it read:
More from Indianapolis Colts
- The Indianapolis Colts Have a Brutal Road Schedule in 2019
- Who Could the Indianapolis Colts Target in Free Agency?
- Here is Where the Colts Will Pick in the First Round of the NFL Draft
- What’s Next For the Indianapolis Colts?
- Hey Kansas City, the Indianapolis Colts are Coming
"“The Indianapolis Colts today waived defensive end Sterling Bailey, inside linebacker Trevor Bates, safety Alden Darby, cornerback Tay Glover-Wright, safety Lee Hightower, safety Stefan McClure, wide receiver MeKale McKay, cornerback Christopher Milton, guard Kitt O’Brien, outside linebacker Earl Okine, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, guard Adam Redmond, wide receiver Tevaun Smith, tackle Mitchell Van Dyk and tackle Jeremy Vujnovich.The team also released inside linebacker Nate Irving and running back Stevan Ridley.The Colts placed cornerback Tevin Mitchel, outside linebacker Ron Thompson and guard Hugh Thornton on the Injured Reserve list.”"
Three Quarterbacks on the Roster: For the first time since 2012, the Colts will start the season with three quarterbacks on their active roster. Andrew Luck obviously made the roster and Scott Tolzien was designated as Luck’s primary backup. Finally, Stephen Morris, who played well in the preseason, surprisingly made the roster.
Stevan Ridley cut after joining team six days ago: Ridley did not last a week with the Colts. He played in one preseason game and racked up 11 rushing yard on nine carries. Clearly, the team was not impressed and cut him.
Chester Rogers is the team’s fifth receiver: One of the pleasant surprises from this preseason was Rogers. He was the Colts’ best receiver this preseason. As a result, the Colts rewarded him with an active roster spot.
Veteran Nate Irving cut while Edwin Jackson makes team: At the start of training camp, it appeared Nate Irving was going to be one of the Colts’ starting inside linebackers. Instead, the team cut the veteran and kept Edwin Jackson, a 2015 practice squad player.
Clayton Geathers listed on active roster: Geathers had been on the non-football injury list since the start of training camp. He has been rehabbing well, but it was unlikely he was going to be ready by Week 1. Geathers’ health is still unclear, but seeing him on the active roster is a good sign.
Hugh Thornton on the Injury Reserve List: Thornton missed most of training camp and all of the preseason with an ankle injury. His injury was once classified as “week-to-week” by Pagano, but it is clear it was much more serious than that. This move begs the question: has Thornton played his last down for the Colts?
Kept nine offensive linemen, and three are injured: Joe Reitz, Joe Haeg and Jack Mewhort are all dealing with injuries. With 33% of the group hurt, it is surprising the Colts did not keep another offensive lineman until at least one of their hurt guys got healthy.
A couple of the players the Colts cut could return to the team. The Colts can sign 10 players to their practice squad. They definitely use all ten of those spots on players they cut, once those players clear waivers.
It will be interesting to see how the Colts will look on Week 1. They accomplished their goal of getting younger, but the lost some decent experience as a result.
Hopefully, this 53-man roster can stay healthy and help get the Colts back into the playoffs in 2016.