The Indianapolis Colts announced several roster moves this afternoon, as the team signed inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera from the practice squad to the active roster, signed free agent cornerback Jalil Brown, waived cornerback Josh Thomas, and placed inside linebacker Nate Irving on injured reserve. In addition, they signed linebacker Edwin Jackson to the practice squad to take Herrera's spot.
The move to promote Herrera to the active roster was reported earlier today and makes a ton of sense, as the rookie can provide depth at the inside linebacker position. The Colts' sixth round pick in this year's draft out of Georgia, Herrera impressed in preseason with the Colts as he showed an ability to make plays and handle the defensive calls. He made the active roster after final cuts but was waived a day later, only to wind up on the Colts' practice squad for the first five weeks of the season. He was then promoted to the active roster for a few days (one game) before being waived again, and ever since he has been on the practice squad. With Jerrell Freeman week to week with a hamstring injury and Nate Irving now done for the season, the Colts need help at inside linebacker. They now have Sio Moore, Josh McNary, and Amarlo Herrera there, and one of them will need to start alongside D'Qwell Jackson on Sunday. My guess would be Moore, but it could be McNary as well and either way we'll likely see a combination as the Colts use a rotation to try to fill in.
Nate Irving was injured in Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers after making the start as he filled in for Freeman. Irving finished the game but afterward had pain in his wrist, and after running tests it was revealed that there was a fracture in his wrist that was not going to be possible to play through. Head coach Chuck Pagano said yesterday that Irving was week to week, meaning that he would miss significant time, but with it already being December the Colts decided that the injury is serious enough that it will shut him down for the remainder of the season. He played in eight games for the Colts this year, starting two, and recorded 18 tackles, a sack, two passes defensed, a forced fumble, and two special teams tackles. He was slowed due to his knee injury for much of the season but was really starting to get a bigger role in recent weeks, so it's unfortunate that his season is now done.
At cornerback, the Colts brought back Jalil Brown and waived Josh Thomas, basically replacing Thomas with Brown. Brown really impressed in preseason and training camp, proving to be one of the biggest standouts and making the active roster as a result. Then, with plenty of injuries at the cornerback position early in the season, Brown was thrust into early action, playing in the first four games of the season and starting three of them. That's a pretty big role for a player who entered the regular season as the fifth cornerback on the depth chart, but injuries forced him into the lineup. He did about as you'd expect a player in his situation to do, which wasn't great but, considering the circumstances, was to be expected. As a depth player, however, he's absolutely a guy worth having around and is a good fourth or fifth cornerback option for a team. He was injured earlier in the season, however, and after the fourth game he was waived-injured. He cleared waivers and reverted to the team's injured reserve list, which he was released from just a few days later. Since the Colts waived-injured him and then released him from injured reserve they had to wait a while before they were allowed to bring him back, but they are currently allowed to do so and took advantage of it to upgrade the depth at their cornerback position.