A Colts-related nugget came out a few days ago over the holiday weekend, as the National Football Post's Aaron Wilson reported that the Colts were one of three teams to have recently worked out former Bears kick returner Chris Williams. Along with the Colts, Wilson reports that the Buccaneers and Bengals have worked out the returner.
In seven games with the Bears in 2014, Williams returned 24 kickoffs, averaging 24.1 yards per return and including a kickoff 101 yards for a score. He also returned four punts, averaging 7.5 yards per return. He was undrafted out of New Mexico State in 2009 and spent time with both the Dolphins and Browns that offseason but didn't stick with either of them. As a result, he headed to the Canadian Football League to play with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he did very well.
He was named the CFL's most outstanding rookie in 2011 and was named the CFL's special teams player of the year in 2012. It was during that 2012 season that he excelled, returning five punts for touchdowns and one kickoff for a score, along with eleven receiving touchdowns. In two seasons with the Tiger-Cats, Williams caught 153 passes for 2,362 yards and 17 touchdowns, carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards (averaging 4.8 yards per carry), returned 12 kicks for an average of 21 yards per return and scored a touchdown, and returned 90 punts, averaging 13.3 yards per return and scoring five times. After that season, he signed with the New Orleans Saints in the NFL but didn't appear in a game with them before signing with the Bears late in the 2013 season and having an impressive 2014 campaign. He was waived/injured in December.
It's unclear how much interest is there between the Colts and Williams on a deal, but it was obviously enough for the team to bring the returner in for a workout. We don't know whether the Colts have any desire to sign him and if they did he would be competing for a spot this offseason and in camp, but it's smart for them to be looking around at return options. They signed Josh Cribbs last year, and while he provided a spark at times, he often hurt the team as well and his roster spot is very much up in the air right now. After Cribbs, it's Griff Whalen who would be the return man - a solid option, but the Colts could do much better. That's the thinking behind working out Chris Williams, and regardless of whether anything comes of the workout, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Colts continue to look at some return options.