The Indianapolis Colts returned to work today after extended time off during their bye week, and that means that it's time once again to begin preparations during a game week, as the Colts will take on the Atlanta Falcons on the road this Sunday. They will get a boost in the secondary for that game, as today they activated rookie cornerback D'Joun Smith from the injured reserve/designated for return list.
Smith hasn't played at all during the regular season after suffering a knee injury during preseason. He missed the first week of the regular season and then was placed on IR-DFR the following week, putting him out for eight weeks. He returned to practice after six weeks and head coach Chuck Pagano said that he was ahead of schedule, and he can now return to the playing field this Sunday.
The Colts drafted Smith in the third round of this year's NFL Draft, making him their second draft choice behind only Phillip Dorsett. The Colts really liked the corner out of Florida Atlantic, who played in 44 games during his collegiate career and recorded 120 tackles, nine picks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack, and 29 passes defensed. He also helped out on special teams some during his time at Florida Atlantic. He had a rough preseason and training camp, but that isn't to be entirely surprising for a rookie cornerback adjusting to the NFL level. Smith has talent and the Colts really like him and his versatility, so it's entirely possible that we could see him have a role right away. Entering the regular season, he was going to be the fourth cornerback, so we'll have to see if he steps right back into that role or if there's a further adjustment period. Keep in mind that he is a rookie who has missed the first half of his first season, so some struggles are to be expected, but this is good news for the Colts as they head into the second half of their season, as they add another talented body to the secondary.