INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are now one giant step closer to the start of the 2020 NFL season.
On Saturday afternoon, the Colts cut their roster down to the mandated number of 53, in time of the NFL’s 4:00 PM deadline.
Beginning this Sunday, once players clear waivers, teams can assemble 16-person practice squads (with COVID rules increasing that number this season). During game weeks this season, the active roster will grow to 55 players, and 48 dressing on game day, with the promotion of two practice squad players.
Here is the 53-man roster for the Colts:
Quarterbacks (3): Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason*, Chad Kelly, Philip Rivers
Bowen’s Analysis: No surprise here. Eason might not play a single snap in 2020, but his potential return in long-term (however small that might be right now) means too much to expose on the waiver wire.
Running Backs (4): Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor*, Jordan Wilkins
Bowen’s Analysis: There was never a whole lot of debate about this quartet. A 4th running back is a bit of a luxury, but Wilkins and his nearly 6.0 career yards per carry offers a pretty good insurance policy for a run-heavy team.
Wide Receivers (6): Parris Campbell, Ashton Dulin, Reece Fountain, DeMichael Harris*, T.Y. Hilton, Marcus Johnson, Zach Pascal, Dezmon Patmon*, Michael Pittman*
Bowen’s Analysis: Some might be surprised to see Fountain not making the 53-man roster. But when you are talking ‘Week 1 value’ for the Colts, Dulin on special teams will impact things more than any of that trio, especially with the Colts healthy atop their wideout depth chart right now. Patmon had some nice moments during camp and was probably a tough guy to get through waivers.
Tight Ends (3): Mo Alie-Cox, Trey Burton, Dominique Dafney, Jack Doyle, Farrod Green*, Xavier Grimble, Andrew Vollert
Bowen’s Analysis: The injury situation to Trey Burton bears monitoring when the Colts make waiver claims over the next 24 hours, establish a practice squad and possibly place guys on IR (to return). A tight end needs to be added, especially with how Frank Reich handles his tight ends.
Offensive Line (8): Anthony Castonzo, Le’Raven Clark, Jake Eldrenkamp, Mark Glowinski, Chaz Green, Brandon Hitner, Joey Hunt, Ryan Kelly, Carter O’Donnell*, Quenton Nelson, Javon Patterson, Danny Pinter*, Braden Smith
Bowen’s Analysis: Green was always somebody the Colts liked. He gives this team starting tackle depth. Pinter is the guy in the interior, with Eldrenkamp the surprise cut.
Defensive Line (9): Denico Autry, Ben Banogu, DeForest Buckner, Kameron Cline, Sheldon Day, Gerri Green, Justin Houston, Tyquan Lewis, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Taylor Stallworth, Grover Stewart, Kemoko Turay, Chris Williams*, Rob Windsor*
Bowen’s Analysis: Well, Kemoko Turay is on the PUP list, so he’s out for at least a month and a half to start the season. No Turay is a big damper to the diversity of this pass rush group. Now, Sheldon Day is the name to watch on this list as he continues to rehab a knee procedure he had this summer. Is he a candidate to go on injured reserve (to return) this weekend? That’s a definite possibility, which would then open up a 53-man roster spot. Stallworth did a have a good camp and has history starting in this league. Windsor showed flashes and should be on the practice squad.
Linebackers (7): Matthew Adams, Zaire Franklin, Jordan Glasgow*, Darius Leonard, Bobby Okereke, EJ Speed, Anthony Walker
Bowen’s Analysis: Keeping 7 linebackers is something I thought the Colts might do. These guys bring special teams value to the Colts that clearly means a lot. All 7 Chris Ballard draft picks make the team.
Cornerbacks (5): T.J. Carrie, Andre Chachere, Kenny Moore, Lafayette Pitts, Jackson Porter, Travis Reed*, Xavier Rhodes, Isaiah Rodgers*, Tremon Smith, Rock Ya-Sin
Bowen’s Analysis: Unlike safety, the backend depth at corner is a little bit more in question. The loss of Marvell Tell hurts this bunch. The Colts really can’t afford injuries to this group, and will be counting on a lot of new/young faces here.
Safeties (5): Julian Blackmon*, Malik Hooker, George Odum, Donald Rutledge*, Khari Willis, Tavon Wilson
Bowen’s Analysis: All of a sudden, this group has some pretty good depth, on paper. We still don’t know when Blackmon will play in a game, but him practicing this past week meant he now counts on the 53-man roster.
Specialists (3): K-Rodrigo Blankenship*, K-Chase McLaughlin, LS-Luke Rhodes, P-Rigoberto Sanchez
Bowen’s Analysis: This is a surprise. In front of the media, McLaughlin seemed to be even with Blankenship if not having a better percentage. McLaughlin looked like the safer bet on kicks inside of 50 yards. Instead of the experience winning out, the Colts are going with Blankenship, who might offer more of a ceiling and has a longer contract.