The Colts entered the day in need of running back help after Ahmad Bradshaw was injured (they've since placed him on season-ending IR). Earlier today, two prominent running backs were released (Ben Tate and LeGarrette Blount) and immediately fans and media began linking the running back needy Colts to one or both of the backs. It sounds like the Colts are likewise interested in Ben Tate.
Here's this from an article this evening from ESPN's Mike Wells:
The team has also begun researching running back Ben Tate -- including his character and potential fit in Indy's scheme -- and appear interested in possibly claiming him off waivers from the Browns, a source told ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.
So it sounds like the Colts definitely are interested in Tate and they could very well put in a waiver claim for the running back - something that makes sense for them to do. The real question would then become, however, whether a team ahead of the Colts would also put in a waiver claim. The way waivers work is this: there is a 24-hour period for teams to submit a claim once a player is waived. If no teams put in a claim, then the player becomes a free agent. If only one team puts in a claim, then the team is awarded the player. If multiple teams put in a claim, then the team with the lowest waiver priority would be awarded the player. Since the Colts are doing well this season and have a 6-4 record, they're higher on the list (similar to the way the draft process works). And it sounds like Tate might get claimed by another team ahead of Indy.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Told by a source close to Ben Tate that he will be claimed by a team before Indy (at No. 21 in waiver order) gets a chance.</p>— Jason Cole (@JasonPhilCole) <a href="https://twitter.com/JasonPhilCole/status/534876307314991104">November 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Here's the full waiver wire currently, from first priority to last: Oakland, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, New York Jets, Washington, New York Giants, Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, Houston, Buffalo, Cleveland, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, Miami, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Denver, New England, Arizona.
As you can see, the Colts are 21st on the waiver priority list. And it sounds unlikely that Tate would go unclaimed by teams one through 20, though it also sounds like the Colts are interested in the running back and it would come as no surprise whatsoever if they put in a claim for him. And really, why wouldn't they? They're a team needing a running back and they could get a guy who entered the season as a starter for really cheap on waivers. Tate is a good back who would help the Colts out.
The Colts currently have just two running backs on the active roster in Trent Richardson and Dan Herron. They could sign Zurlon Tipton from the practice squad to the active roster, though they're likely waiting to see how waivers go before doing that. Regardless, they do need to add a running back.
Will they get a chance to sign Ben Tate, though? It seems as if they're interested, but there are likely other teams ahead of the Colts in the waiver wire that are as well.