As expected, the Colts have made some roster moves today. They activated safety LaRon Landry from the exempt list following his suspension and activated offensive tackle Xavier Nixon from the IR designated to return list. To make room for those two, the Colts waived cornerback Jalil Brown and offensive tackle Jamon Meredith. Additionally, the team waived fullback Stanley Havili from the physically unable to play list.
Landry returns after a five-game absence due to a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He missed four games due to the suspension and then was not activated for last night's game due to the roster exemption the Colts had for him. That exemption ended today, however, so this move was expected. Landry started the first four games of the season at safety for the Colts and made 25 tackles and a sack. In his place, Sergio Brown has played very solid and has been better than Landry was, so it'll be interesting what the team decides to do at safety. My guess as to what will happen is that Landry will get his starting spot back after the bye but that Brown will continue to see some reps at safety.
Xavier Nixon was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return before the season began and his return comes on the heels of the two worst games by the Colts' line all year. He provides very good depth and played well when he stepped in last year. With Nixon, Joe Reitz, and A.Q. Shipley as backups along the line, the Colts have plenty of depth and insurance there, and the return of Nixon shouldn't be overlooked.
As for Jalil Brown and Jamon Meredith, they were both among the regular lists of inactives for games this year and as such neither saw a lot of playing time with the Colts and neither are real surprises to be cut. What this does mean is that, at least for the time being, safety Dewey McDonald remains on the active roster - which is great news, as the undrafted rookie has been making his impact felt on special teams.
Stanley Havili had been on the physically unable to play list since the beginning of training camp, and he tweeted earlier this afternoon something that certainly sounded like he had been released, something the team has now confirmed.
Thank you @JimIrsay, Ryan Grigson, and Chuck Pagano for the opportunity to be apart of the Horse Shoe. Loved every minute.— Stanley Havili (@SHavili) November 4, 2014
Havili actually played well last year in the role he was in and he was a good receiving fullback. The problems many had weren't with him but rather with Pep Hamilton's use of a fullback. This year, with Havili on the PUP list, the Colts rolled with zero true fullbacks on the roster out of preseason and it has worked out really well for them. They have the league's number one offense and a true MVP candidate in quarterback Andrew Luck, who is putting up some great Star Wars numbers. When the Colts have used the fullback position, they've used tight ends Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle in the role and both have done just fine. I think Pep has improved greatly this year and has embraced the players he really has. He has been running a non-fullback offense for pretty much this entire season, and as such Havili didn't really have a role even upon his return without the offense going back to an offense they likely (and rightly) didn't want to run. I think Havili did fine last year in the role the Colts asked him to play, but that role has disappeared this year with Havili out and it has worked out greatly for the offense. It's important to note, however, that the team said that Havili failed his physical, thus the reason for his release.
In other news, the Colts also signed wide receiver Eric Thomas to their practice squad and released wide receiver Chandler Jones from the practice squad.
LaRon Landry and Xavier Nixon are back, and the transition to no fullbacks is officially complete (though Havili hasn't counted toward the 53-man roster all year).