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What's Going on with Josh McNary?

Earlier this offseason, the Colts signed Josh McNary, who the team hoped would be able to participate in OTAs after being released from the Army after his two year service commitment. Days before camp, we still don't know when to expect him.


If you look on the Colts roster, there is one player under the category "reserve/military." That player is outside linebacker Josh McNary.

McNary was signed as a free agent this offseason by the Colts, having spent 2011-2013 fulfilling his service commitment to the Army. During his college years at Army, he also played football and was a very good outside linebacker. Here's what I wrote of McNary in my outside linebacker preview:

"Also signed this offseason was a 25-year old rookie from Army, Josh McNary. Upon graduating from Army, he spent 2011-2013 fulfilling his active duty commitment to the Army. The Colts signed him earlier this offseason and placed him on the Reserve/Military list. In 46 games at Army, he recorded 195 tackles while becoming the school's all-time leader in both sacks (28) and tackles for loss (49). He also batted down 9 passes, forced 5 fumbles and recovered 3. He set a school record with 12.5 sacks in his senior year (2010) and is the only player in Army history with 2 double digit sack seasons. In 2011, he was awarded the East-West Shrine Game Pat Tillman Award, awarded to the player who "best exemplifies character, intelligence, sportsmanship and service," according to his player bio page on He will be in excellent shape and ready to compete for a roster spot once training camp rolls around, so long as he is released by the Army in time. The hope was that McNary would report to the Colts in mid-May or early-June to participate in OTAs, but he never made it and has yet to be released by the Army. Once that happens, he will be good to go for training camp and preseason to fight for a roster spot. While he may be behind in learning the defense, he should be in excellent shape."

Though he has been out of football for 2 years, there isn't much doubt as to whether he's in good enough shape or not. Really, there's no doubt at all. There are indeed questions as to whether he can catch up on the missed time when he finally shows up with the Colts.

And really, that's the question: when is he going to show up? It's a question that the fans, media, and the team alike all have. I asked Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune Star and George Bremer of the Anderson Herald Tribune if they had any idea as to when McNary would be released from the Army to show up with the Colts, and neither one of them knew. Really, that's where we're all at right now - including the team, I'm guessing. When they first signed him, the hope was that he could participate in some of the OTAs, but that never happened as he wasn't released from the Army in time. And he still hasn't been released.

With training camp just days away, fans are beginning to wonder when he will join the Colts. It's a fair question, and one that nobody really has an answer to. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but that's the call of the Army, not the Colts. McNary needs to finish his commitment, and we need to respect that.

After all, football is just a game. What he is doing isn't a game. Let's keep that in mind, and whenever he shows up we'll cheer him on. Hopefully he can pick up the defense and make the impact that we think he can make and that he can make a push at a roster spot.

If he doesn't, however, we know it won't be for a lack of commitment. He's got plenty of that. And that's to be commended, no matter how long it takes him away from the football team we cheer on.