While the Colts have the day off today from practice, it's been a busy past hour or so for the Colts in terms of roster moves. The team just announced that they've signed outside linebacker Chris Carter and running back Dion Lewis to the 53-man roster, have waived running back Zurlon Tipton, and have signed quarterback Dominique Davis to the practice squad.
Carter is a 6-1, 248 pound linebacker who spent the last three seasons with the Steelers, appearing in 29 games and starting 4. He was the Steelers' fifth round draft pick in 2011 (the same exact round that the Eagles took Dion Lewis in). In his career, he has made 8 tackles and recovered a fumble, in addition to making 9 special teams tackles (5 in 2013). Carter is primarily a pass rusher, which makes sense given the need at the area currently.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Per <a href="https://twitter.com/caplannfl">@caplannfl</a> yesterday, new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash">#Colts</a> OLB Chris Carter was the second-best 3-4 option available. Behind only Victor Butler.</p>— George Bremer (@gmbremer) <a href="https://twitter.com/gmbremer/status/509466731010478080">September 9, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The signing of Lewis was one that was reported earlier today, and here's what I wrote then:
Lewis was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles (and Ryan Grigson) in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of Pittsburgh. In college, he rushed for 2,850 yards and 30 touchdowns in two seasons at Pittsburgh, averaging over 5 yards per carry and also adding 405 yards and a touchdown in the receiving game. He played in 24 total games in the 2011-12 seasons for the Eagles, rushing 36 times for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns (averaging 4.8 yards per carry). He also returned 31 kickoffs for the Eagles in 2011, averaging 21.6 yards per return. In 2012, he returned just one kick for 33 yards. He was traded to the Cleveland Browns in the 2013 offseason. This preseason, he rushed 12 times for 30 yards in 4 games and caught 5 passes for 16 yards and a score.
The move is an interesting one. Lewis is a guy who would likely take over at kick returner for the Colts and who would likely take Zurlon Tipton's spot on the roster. The really intriguing thing will be to see how much the Colts use him on offense, such as in a third down role or something like that. Let's be real: he's not going to beat out either Trent Richardson or Ahmad Bradshaw for playing time, but he still could see a couple of snaps and it will be something to watch, at least. For sure, though, he should be able to help in the return game.
Tipton was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Michigan by the Colts this year, and he has potential. A lot of people want to see the Colts stick with him, and I'd be very surprised if they don't. I fully expect Tipton to end up on the practice squad once he clears waivers.
As for Davis, the quarterback signed to the practice squad, he appeared in one game with the Falcons in 2013, completing 4 of 7 passes for 34 yards. The Falcons originally signed him as an undrafted free agent out of East Carolina University after the 2012 draft.
Earlier today, the Colts announced that outside linebacker Cam Johnson has been placed on season-ending injured reserve and that they waived quarterback Jeff Matthews from the practice squad.