Cutdown day hit hard for 22 Indianapolis Colts players Saturday afternoon. Nineteen were waived and three were waived-injured. Another player was waived outright from the injured-reserve list a day earlier.
The Colts announced the majority of their roster moves around 5 p.m. Saturday, allowing the team to meet the National Football League’s mandated regular season roster size. NFL rosters had to be trimmed from 75 to 53 by 6 p.m.
Indianapolis waived outside linebacker Daniel Adongo, safety Larry Asante, center Thomas Austin, cornerback Marshay Green, defensive end Lawrence Guy, quarterback Chandler Harnish, fullback Robert Hughes, offensive tackle Ben Ijalana, tight end/H-Back Dominique Jones, wide receiver Jeremy Kelley, inside linebacker Josh McNary, and defensive tackle Drake Nevis.
Also, cornerback Sheldon Price, wide receiver Jabin Sambrano, wide receiver Lanear Sampson, outside linebacker Monte Simmons, offensive tackle Bradley Sowell, nose tackle Martin Tevaseu and offensive tackle Lee Ziemba.
Several of those players waived might return to the Colts’ eight-man practice squad, which is expected to be announced sometime today. Adongo, Harnish, Ijalana, McNary, Sowell and Jones could be in that group.
With Harnish waived, Indianapolis will begin the regular-season with only two quarterbacks on the roster — starter Andrew Luck and veteran Matt Hasselbeck as his primary backup.
Waived-injured Saturday were offensive tackle Emmett Cleary, inside linebacker Shawn Loiseau and cornerback Daxton Swanson. Cornerback Teddy Williams was waived from with an injury settlement on Friday.
If Cleary, Loiseau and Swanson clear waivers, they will revert to Indianapolis’ injured reserve list.
• Good news for others — Outside linebacker Caesar Rayford, the Colts’ 27-year old rookie, made the final cut. So did safety Delono Howell, wide receiver Griff Whalen and rookie running back Kerwynn Williams.
Rayford, though, gets the most attention after a very productive training camp and pre-season. He recorded five sacks through the first three pre-season games. After bouncing around the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League the last several years, the 6-foot-7, 267-pound linebacker appears to have found himself a home with the Colts’ defense.
Williams, meanwhile, will join Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown as Indianapolis’ four running backs.
Whalen will see playing time early on as the team’s No. 4 receiver behind Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton. LaVon Brazill, who would be the fourth receiver, will be serving a four-game suspension to begin the season due to violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policies.
• More moves coming — Even though NFL teams made their final mandated roster moves Saturday, more are in the offing today.
Practice squads will be assembled by each team. Also, there will be a lot of bargain hunting going on as player personnel departments will be looking to shore up perceived areas of needs from the league’s waiver wire.
That means that there will be players who made it past Saturday’s cuts who could end up on the outside looking in by late this afternoon.
• Indy-area players cut — It wasn’t a good day for Indianapolis-area players in the NFL.
Among those released were receivers Tandon Doss (Baltimore), Tyrone Walker (Green Bay), Courtney Roby (New Orleans), MarQueis Gray (San Francisco) and running back Jewell Hampton (San Francisco). Doss or Walker could end up with the Colts.
Doss and Roby both played collegiately at Indiana. Gray was a former quarterback at Minnesota. Walker (Illinois State) and Hampton (Southern Illinois) played at Missouri Valley Conference schools.
• Mixed bag for former Colts — Tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Brandon Stokley both made Baltimore’s regular-season roster.
The news wasn’t so good for a few other former Indianapolis players though. Center/offensive guard Ryan Lilja was cut by Denver, offensive guard Jake Scott was waived by Detroit and running back Delone Carter was let go by the Ravens.
Carter had been traded a week ago to Baltimore in exchange for wide receiver/kick returner David Reed.