On Tuesday, the Colts placed wide receiver Reggie Wayne on the injured reserve (IR) list. They also waived tight end Dominique Jones from the active roster, signed free agent cornerback Jalil Brown to fill his spot, and released fullback Robert Hughes from the practice squad. When the dust settled after all these moves, the Colts were left with 52 active players and 7 practice squad players.
Ergo, an open spot on each roster list.
We're now at Friday, and the Colts still list 52 active players on their 53-man roster. This has lead to speculation that general manager Ryan Grigson will swing yet another major in-season trade for a veteran player. Presumably, this player will be a wide receiver, one qualified enough to replace the loss of Reggie Wayne.
Think about it. If the Colts were simply going to promote a player from their practice squad, such as second-year wideout Griff Whalen or first-year receiver Da'Rick Rogers, they probably would have done it by now. Promoting Whalen makes the most logical sense. He has great knowledge of the Colts offense because Whalen played under offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton at Stanford, and was a teammate of Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener.
But, again, if Whalen were the plan, he'd have been promoted by now, right?
If Grigson is working on another trade, he'd need an open roster spot if his intention is to send draft picks in exchange for a new player. The only big chips Grigson has to play with in terms of draft picks for the 2014 NFL Draft are his team's second and third round selections. The Colts already sent their first round and fourth round picks in 2014 to Cleveland for running back Trent Richardson and the 2013 5th round pick that would eventually be defensive end Montori Hughes, respectively.
The other option would be to trade a veteran player on the Colts roster in exchange for a wide receiver. Names that are tossed around are linebacker Kavell Conner and back-up quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Personally, I think this scenario is unlikely.
What does seem likely is the prospect of some kind of trade before the NFL trading deadline, which is 4:00 pm ET on October 29th. The Colts are on their bye week this week, but next week they are on the road at Houston for a critical division game against the Texans.
This year, Ryan Grigson has coordinated 6 major trades this year, including moves to acquire fullback Stanley Havili, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, and linebacker Cam Johnson. Since taking the job as general manager, Grigson has made 16 trades!
Whether or not Grigson will make trade no. 17 prior to the deadline is not guaranteed. What does seem likely is that the Colts will try and do something. The front office and ownership are clearly in WIN NOW mode, and don't seem to concerned with drafting new players in 2014.