News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 29, 2012

Colts could be on hunt for other team’s castoffs

Tom James
The Tribune-Star

INDIANAPOLIS — “In the catbird’s seat.”

According to Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, that’s exactly where the franchise will find itself as NFL teams make their final roster cuts this weekend.

After posting a 2-14 record a year ago (and winning a coin flip with the St. Louis Rams), the Colts had the first pick in last April’s NFL draft. Another perk, if it can truly be called that, of tying for the worst record in the league last season is that Indianapolis will have first dibs on signing any players released by other teams.

NFL teams had to trim their rosters to 75 players by Monday. All rosters will then be narrowed again to the regular-season limit of 53 by late Saturday afternoon after the league’s final preseason games are played.

With the Colts smack dab in the middle of a massive re-tooling project — new general manager, new head coach, several new assistant coaches and more than 50 new players — finding some much-needed diamonds in the rough is entirely possible.

Coming up with one or two quality finds is exactly what Pagano and the Colts’ front-office personnel hope to accomplish this weekend.

“We’re sitting in the catbird’s seat. We’ve been through the first round [of players cuts] and there’s a bunch of names there. And now, obviously, there’s going to be a ton of more guys hit the streets,” Pagano said.

“You know we’re not afraid to pull the trigger and make moves as long as they’re in the best interests of this team. And so I think we’re in a great spot as far as that goes.”

That’s not to say Pagano wants to be in the same position next year. Having a losing record, the worst record in the league, is not fun for anybody.

“We certainly don’t want to be there [in 2013] but, you know, it is what it is,” he said. “We feel good about the opportunity to have first choice at whoever hits the street.”

• Injury updates — Offensive guard Joe Reitz was inadvertently kicked in his left knee during Monday’s practice and was forced to sit out Tuesday’s abbreviated workout.

Wide receiver Jarred Fayson, meanwhile, sat out as he continues to deal with knee and ankle issues. Fayson missed about a week of work at training camp in Anderson.

Reitz will be a game-time decision as to whether he will participate in Thursday night’s (7:30 p.m.) preseason finale with Cincinnati at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fayson is listed as day-to-day.

Also sitting out Tuesday’s workout were rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (shoulder), cornerback Korey Lindsey (head), rookie wide receiver Jabin Sambrano (head), wide receiver Austin Collie (concussion), cornerback Justin King, cornerback Jeraud Powers, rookie outside linebacker Tim Fugger, running back Delone Carter (ribs) and running back Mewelde Moore (ribs).

“Playing three ballgames in 12 days has been a challenge on everybody,” Pagano admitted.

Hilton, who scored a touchdown in last Saturday’s loss at Washington, should be ready for the regular-season opener at Chicago on Sept. 9.

The Colts will have a short walk-through today, then take Friday and Saturday off. Indianapolis players and coaches will reconvene Sunday.