Football never stops! On this Thanksgiving morning, the Colts have made another roster move on the defensive side of the football after signing outside linebacker Shaun Phillips last night. This morning, the team signed cornerback Jalil Brown and waived cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy.
Brown was signed by the Colts earlier this season and appeared in two games before being waved. He also played in five games for the team last season. In 36 career games (2 starts) with the Colts and the Chiefs, Brown has made 24 tackles, 2 passes defended, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery, as well as 14 special teams tackles. The Colts need healthy bodies at cornerback right now, so it's not a surprise that they added one.
The surprising move is the player the Colts waived, Loucheiz Purifoy. He won the cornerback battle out of training camp over Marcus Burley and he was playing very well on special teams as one of the standout players among the coverage units. He also was seeing his defensive snaps begin to increase a bit. He suffered a concussion in last week's game but Chuck Pagano said yesterday that he expected Purifoy (and Greg Toler) to practice today and to be back for this Sunday's game. In other words, there was absolutely no inclination of the move yesterday.
When I first heard of the news, I immediately thought that there had to be more to the move, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. The Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder agrees:
Colts had Purifoy ranked over Marcus Burley at final cuts, so they were quite fond. I can say w certainty this is not a football decision— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) November 27, 2014
There were plenty of off-the-field concerns that resulted in Purifoy going undrafted, which you can read about here, but all of that meant that Purifoy was on a short leash with the Colts, so to speak. While we don't want to speculate, it seems highly unlikely that this was made because of Purifoy's play because, well, he was playing very well.
When you make a roster move like this on Thanksgiving, cutting a player who was playing well, at a position where the Colts could use help (and Pagano expected Purifoy back on Sunday), it absolutely seems like there's more to this than we currently know. Perhaps we'll find out later, but either way the Colts have waived Loucheiz Purifoy and signed Jalil Brown.