With 53-man rosters set yesterday and players clearing waivers today, teams can now begin to sign players to their practice squads - which this year has been expanded to ten players. The Colts have now set their practice squad:
T Tyler Hoover
ILB Andrew Jackson
WR Ryan Lankford
WR Josh Lenz
S Dewey McDonald
DT Nnamdi Obukwelu
CB Sheldon Price
TE Erik Swoope
G Josh Walker
QB Jeff Matthews
Only one of the ten players didn't spend training camp and preseason with the Colts, and that is quarterback Jeff Matthews. He's a 6-4, 229 pound quarterback out of Cornell University. He holds 47 school records and 18 Ivy League records, having a great career. He competed in 38 career games, completing 62.2% of his passes for 11,284 yards and 72 touchdowns while also rushing for 9 scores. The Atlanta Falcons initially signed him as a free agent but waived him a week ago.
What the signing of Matthews to the practice squad means is likely that the Colts are done with quarterback Chandler Harnish, which isn't really a surprise. Harnish spent each of the last three training camps and preseasons with the Colts, but it seemed like he looked less impressive each year. This year he was especially unimpressive, especially in the final preseason game. Sure, he wasn't helped out by the line, but the coaches knew he wouldn't be. They just wanted him to help himself out, and he didn't, playing very poorly.
As for the other guys signed to the practice squad, there aren't really any surprises. Tyler Hoover came into camp as a defensive lineman but was switched to offensive line, and he saw extensive time at tackle in the final preseason game. It's not a surprise that the Colts want to keep him around to keep developing him. Andrew Jackson might have made the roster had he not been injured for most of camp and preseason, so keep an eye on him too. Erik Swoope looked good switching from being a college basketball player to an NFL tight end, but he needs more work still - which the practice squad will provide. Dewey McDonald also has a lot of potential, but he didn't show much in camp and preseason for the Colts to keep him on the active roster. He's still a work in progress as well.
Here's a refresher on the practice squad rules and eligibility.