While practice squad moves usually go pretty much unnoticed, one such move that the Indianapolis Colts made today has garnered a bit of attention: they signed running back, return specialist, and Olympian Jeff Demps to the practice squad. The team also signed tight end Konrad Reuland to the practice squad and waived quarterback Dominique Davis and wide receiver Chandler Jones from the practice squad.
Demps (5-8, 191 pounds) played collegiately at the University of Florida, where he played in 51 career games (starting 27) and totaling 2,470 yards rushing (6.7 yards per carry) and 23 scores, also adding 57 catches for 481 yards and a touchdown receiving. In terms of kick returns, he returned 21 of them and one for a score. He left Florida as the school's eighth all-time leading scorer. He was a four-year letterman on the men's track team and also won a silver medal as a member of the 2012 United States Olympic 4x100-meter relay team. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots before the 2012 season began, and in April of 2013 the Patriots traded him to the Buccaneers. With the Bucs, Demps played in two games, rushing one time for 14 yards, catching 3 passes for 21 yards, and returning four kicks for 93 yards. They signed him to their practice squad to begin this season but then released him on October 13. The Colts brought him in for a tryout today on the players' day off and obviously were impressed enough to sign him to their practice squad.
As for Reuland, here's what the Colts' press release says about him:
Reuland, 6-5, 260 pounds, has caught 12 passes for 90 yards in 26 career games (three starts) with the New York Jets (2012-13). He was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford on July 27, 2011 and was waived on August 31, 2012. Reuland was then acquired from waivers by the Jets on September 1. In 2012, he appeared in all 16 games (three starts) and recorded career highs of 11 receptions for 83 yards.
In two seasons at Stanford (2009-2010), Reuland compiled 27 receptions for 351 yards and one touchdown in 26 games played (10 starts). Prior to that, he spent two years (2006-07) at Notre Dame and saw action in 10 games.
Of note is that Reuland played at Stanford from 2009-2010 - meaning that he was a teammate of guys like Andrew Luck Coby Fleener, and Griff Whalen and would have had Pep Hamilton as a coach.
Practice squad shuffling isn't too uncommon of a thing and it normally doesn't garner much attention - but I guess when the team signs a former Olympic sprinter, it's a bit different. Ultimately, I think the Colts are really looking to improve their return game - which has been evidenced just in the players they have brought in for workouts recently and then the signing of Demps to the practice squad today. Obviously, it doesn't mean a ton until they sign someone to the active roster, but perhaps this move will help the Colts get a better idea about Demps and help him improve.