The move with Angerer is a surprise and an odd one at first glance. He was inactive on Sunday, which seemed strange, and when asked about it yesterday head coach Chuck Pagano said he was a "healthy" scratch. He followed that up by seeming to explain why he made the decision, talking about whether he has just liked what he has seen from the other linebackers:
"They've all been kind of up and down, in and out. We got Kavell (Conner) back from an ankle injury. Special teams always plays a big part in that. Kavell is a special teams, plays on all the special teams, and played well yesterday. A lot of those things factor into the roster mechanics as they go, trying to find who is going to be up and who is going to be down. It's fluid, as you know."
It was a strange decision to have Angerer inactive on Sunday, as he had played in 11 games this year, notching 63 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 INT (off of Peyton Manning), and 2 pass deflections. It seemed even stranger for the Colts to place Angerer - a "healthy" scratch, according to Pagano - on injured reserve just one day after Pagano said that.
ESPN's Mike Wells and the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell - two of the best in the business when it comes to Colts news - are both reporting that it is a knee injury for Angerer and that is the reason he is now on season-ending injured reserve.
Colts LB Pat Angerer has been battling a knee problem and needs surgery, according to a source.— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) December 17, 2013
Reason #colts shut down LB Pat Angerer was for him to address a knee injury that's bothered him all season. Will have surgery.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) December 17, 2013
Honestly, there is a very real possibility that we have seen the last of Pat Angerer in Indianapolis. He has not been able to stay healthy and his playing time and production has really decreased in the past two years - both of which he was dealing with an injury during the year. Just two years ago, in 2011 (his second year in the league), he led the team with 148 tackles. The year before - his rookie season - he notched 88 tackles. Last year, however, he recorded only 28 tackles and saw his playing time limited due to both his injury and the emergence of Jerrell Freeman. This year he was playing better and had made 63 tackles, but he showed some limitations (primarily in pass coverage) and, more importantly, couldn't stay healthy once again. It's hard to say that it was a bad pick by Bill Polian, getting Angerer in the second round of the 2010 draft, but the linebacker hasn't been able to stay healthy and is now likely on his way out in Indianapolis. If that is the case, he should be remembered as a good guy and a hard worker but a guy who just couldn't stay healthy - but also someone who fought through injuries and never complained. There's no shame in that legacy, but unfortunately he just can't stay healthy.
Shaun Draughn, the running back the Colts signed to fill Angerer's roster spot, went undrafted out of the University of North Carolina in 2011, but he was signed by the Washington Redskins. He was released before the season began but was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs, and while spending most of the 2011 season on their practice squad he appeared in all 16 games in 2012. The Chiefs released him before this season and he was then signed by the Baltimore Ravens, but he only played 3 games with them before he was released in October. For his career, he has appeared in 19 games and carried the ball 63 times for 235 yards (3.7 yards per carry), scoring 2 touchdowns and losing 1 fumble. He has also caught 24 passes for 158 yards. He has experience returning kickoffs as well, returning 25 for 590 yards (23.6 average) with a long of 41.
Draughn joins Trent Richardson, Donald Brown, and Tashard Choice as the Colts running backs. On Sunday, Brown suffered a stinger early on and didn't return to the game, and while Pagano said that he is day-to-day, we all know that doesn't mean much with the Colts. This could be a move made out of doubt about whether Brown will be ready to go this weekend.
Yesterday, Pagano was asked if he had any problems playing Tashard Choice in the rotation if Donald Brown can't go. His response:
"Really don't have a choice. I wouldn't have any regardless, but it's really all we have. He's going to have to. And I like what he did yesterday coming in and had the good return on the kickoff return and got some carries in the back. He's a smart guy, he's a tough guy, he's ran the ball before, so I have no problems."
Draughn may be used on kickoffs, but this move was probably made more out of doubt about whether Brown will be ready.