It has been a rough week for the Colts when it comes to the running back position. On Sunday night, their running backs combined for just four yards rushing on 13 carries, and in the process they lost their best back, Ahmad Bradshaw, for the season with a fractured fibula. Then, a few days later, they reportedly put in a waiver claim for Ben Tate, who had been released by the Browns, but lost out on the back to the Vikings. That left the Colts with just two running backs - Trent Richardson and Dan Herron - and it was fully expected that the team would add another running back, presumably promoting Zurlon Tipton from the practice squad.
That's exactly what the Colts did. They have promoted Tipton from the practice squad to the active roster, giving them three active running backs. To make room for Tipton, the Colts have waived wide receiver Griff Whalen.
Tipton was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, where he scored 34 career touchdowns. He impressed in training camp and, despite spending much of his time with third team offense in preseason rushed for 93 yards on 31 carries and caught 5 passes for 54 yards. He made the roster out of camp but was inactive for the team's first regular season game. He was waived later the following week but quickly signed to the practice squad, where he has been since. With Bradshaw's injury, he's now on the active roster and will provide depth behind Richardson and Herron.
Whalen's role on the team became expendable when they signed Josh Cribbs earlier in the week as a return specialist. He will handle the punt and kick return duties, and he also has spent some practice time at wide receiver. Essentially, he replaced Whalen's role. Griff caught 2 passes this season on 3 targets for 23 yards, and he returned 26 punts for 187 yards (7.2 yards per return) and 15 kicks for 379 yards (25.3 yards per return). I do think he could be a prime practice squad candidate for the Colts if he clears waivers so he might still stick around, but as already noted, his role was essentially replaced by Josh Cribbs. His release doesn't come as much of a surprise either.
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