After the Colts signed Josh Cribbs as their kick returner last week, Griff Whalen's role on the roster was essentially replaced. As such, he was waived on Saturday to make room for Zurlon Tipton, but it was assumed that Whalen would end up on the Colts' practice squad soon. That's exactly what happened, as the Colts announced today that they have signed Whalen to their practice squad. In addition, the Colts announced that running back Jeff Demps has agreed to sign to the practice squad and they have waived running back Michael Hill from the squad.
Whalen was the Colts' return man for the first ten games of the season, and in 19 career games with the Colts he has also caught 26 passes for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is eligible for the practice squad since the NFL expanded the practice squad rules and eligibility this offseason, allowing someone like Whalen to be signed to the squad despite his experience. The practice squad is considered to be for developmental players so veterans are not eligible, but the new rules give more flexibility and a wider range of eligibility, which Whalen falls under. That's why he is able to sign with the Colts' practice squad. According to a report from the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder, Whalen received a number of phone calls from other teams expressing interest after the receiver was signed, but obviously nothing worked out and he's remaining in Indianapolis. On the practice squad, however, any team can sign him away from the Colts if they wish.
Additionally, the Colts announced that running back (and return man) Jeff Demps has agreed to sign to the practice squad. They signed him to the practice squad for a brief stint earlier this year, and he's back now. Demps is a former Olympic sprinter and he won a silver medal as a member of the 2012 United States Olympic 4x100-meter relay team. Running back Michael Hill, who was signed to the practice squad a week ago, has been waived from the squad.