The Indianapolis Colts are dealing with several key injuries of note to players like Andrew Luck and Anthony Castonzo, but perhaps no position has been hit harder than the inside linebacker position.
Last week, starter Jerrell Freeman went down with a hamstring injury that has him as week to week, meaning he will continue to miss some time. The guy who filled in for Freeman on Sunday vs. the Steelers, Nate Irving, suffered a fracture in his wrist on Sunday that has him week to week also, meaning that he too will miss time. Suddenly, the inside linebacker position is looking very thin for Indianapolis, so it would be no surprise whatsoever to see them add depth there.
According to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder, that's exactly what they are going to do. Holder reports that the Colts will promote Amarlo Herrera from the practice squad to the active roster, a move that presumably would happen sometime today on the Colts' day off.
#Colts promoting LB Armalo Herrera to the active roster, per source. Freeman, Irving down with injuries. Need depth.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) December 8, 2015
Herrera was the Colts' sixth round draft pick in this year's NFL Draft out of Georgia, where he played in 54 career games and recorded 334 tackles. The Colts were impressed with him during training camp and preseason this year, as in addition to his play he also grasped the defense and was able to help out with calls on the field, something that inside linebackers need to be able to do. He earned a spot on the 53-man roster after surviving the final roster cuts, but he was waived just a day later. He was signed to the Colts' practice squad and spent the first five weeks of the season there before being promoted to the active roster. He spent one game on the active roster but was then waived just days later, only to be re-signed to the practice squad again, where he has been since.
It makes perfect sense for the Colts to promote Herrera to the active roster to help with depth at the position. Starter D'Qwell Jackson has been reliable this year and has played in every game, but the question now becomes who will play alongside him. Sio Moore saw the most snaps after Jackson and Irving on Sunday (playing 18), while Josh McNary is also an option (he started four games for the Colts last year). Adding Amarlo Herrera to the mix would give the Colts three players at the position (besides Jackson) who could help fill in for Freeman. It's not an ideal situation, but with both Jerrell Freeman and Nate Irving week to week with injuries, promoting Herrera to the active roster makes a ton of sense.
UPDATE: The Colts have indeed promoted Herrera to the active roster, taking the place of Nate Irving, who was placed on injured reserve.