The Indianapolis Colts made several roster moves today, releasing wide receiver David Reed and tight end Justice Cunningham, promoting linebacker Josh McNary to the active roster from the practice squad, and placing safety Delano Howell on injured reserve.
So, in case you missed it - THE COLTS CUT DAVID REED! In all seriousness, Reed had become the laughing stock of Colts fans and had been the one everyone constantly thought should be cut. I had been thinking for over a month now that whenever I opened a press release that it should say they released David Reed, but it never did until today. He did next to nothing for the offense, catching just 1 pass for 2 yards total in Indianapolis. His kick returns were what really made him unpopular to Colts fans, as he was completely terrible in that area. He averaged 24.6 yards per return with a long of 39 on 24 returns, but the average can be deceiving. I wish someone kept a stat of average starting field positoin for kick returners in addition to average, because Reed would often bring the ball out from several yards deep in the end zone and be tackled before the 20 yard line. Some games at Lucas Oil Stadium, the loudest cheers from Colts fans were when Reed would take a knee in the end zone.
Today, they finally decided to part ways with the "home run hitter" who had yet to hit any home runs and hadn't come close either. I wrote this morning that this move absolutely needed to happen if for no other reason than that it would give Chuck Pagano more credibility for not tolerating bad players for too long. This move also means that running back Chris Rainey, signed last week, will handle the kick return duties, and he is a much better talent at it than Reed. It will be interesting to see what Rainey can do - but as we've learned, sometimes it's just better to take a touchback.
The other player the Colts released was TE Justice Cunningham, who was promoted from the practice squad last week. He caught 1 pass for 4 yards last week and played a lot in place of injured fullback Stanley Havili. His release shouldn't be surprising and should be an indication that the Colts expect Havili to be ready this week. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cunningham back on the practice squad when/if he clears waivers.
The team placed safety Delano Howell on injured reserve too, ending his season. He had been dealing with a neck injury for a while now and, while he placed Sunday and made a tackle, perhaps he is still dealing with the injury and it is bad enough to end his season. This morning I actually advocated playing Howell more, but that obviously won't happen anymore.
Lastly, the team promoted linebacker Josh McNary from the practice squad. While pretty much everybody is excited about the release of David Reed, I am perhaps more excited to see what McNary can do. I had the privilege to watch him in training camp before he was injured (which prevented him from playing in any games) and he impressed me. The rookie out of Army who fulfilled a two-year service commitment before signing with the Colts, he had a stellar career at Army and excelled as a pass rusher. I wondered after I saw him a bit in camp if he would perhaps be the Colts' second best pass rusher this season - which wasn't saying much given the state of their pass rush, but still was impressive. But almost as soon as I began watching him, he was injured trying to chase down a player and while running across the field in practice one day trying to get to the ball carrier, he went down injured. He missed the rest of camp and preseason and was signed to the practice squad. I don't expect McNary to come in and make an immediate impact or anything, but I am excited to see his potential and to see if he can help the Colts (because they really need it). They could really use his pass rush skills. I wouldn't expect much from him early on, but he is absolutely a guy to keep an eye on.
The Colts now have two open roster spots. One of them will be taken by linebacker Erik Walden as he comes off his suspension. That leaves one roster spot for the Colts to fill. I'm guessing receiver, but we'll see.