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Colts claim injured cornerback Tevin Mitchel, waive safety Robert Smith

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The Indianapolis Colts today claimed cornerback Tevin Mitchel off of waivers and waived safety Robert Smith.

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Though the Indianapolis Colts players have the day off today, that doesn't mean that general manager Ryan Grigson is taking the day off.  Instead, the team made a roster move, claiming cornerback Tevin Mitchel off of waivers from the Washington Redskins and waiving safety Robert Smith.

Here's the interesting thing about the move: Mitchel has a shoulder injury and will likely miss the entire 2015 season.  The Washington Redskins drafted him in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Arkansas, but he was injured and thus the Redskins were trying to place him on their injured reserve list.  In training camp and preseason (until the first roster cutdown date), however, in order to place someone (with less than four years of experience) on IR they must first be waived, and then once clearing waivers they revert to the team's IR.  Most of the time, other teams don't claim these players and instead let them go to injured reserve, but the Colts obviously liked Mitchel enough to claim him.

This is a quirk in the IR rules that we encountered last year with the Colts as well.  Do you remember when running back Vick Ballard tore his Achilles on the second day of training camp but was kept on the active roster for a few weeks after that?  We addressed that last year by noting that it showed how much the Colts liked Ballard, as they didn't want to subject him to waivers - because, if they had, another team could have claimed him just like the Colts claimed Mitchel today.  What this also means is that the Colts will have to keep Mitchel on their active roster until they can just place him on their own injured reserve, as they obviously like him enough to claim him from another team in that situation.  Regardless, this isn't something that we see happen often, as most teams abide by a sort of unwritten agreement to not claim players in this situation, but it does happen from time to time and the Colts did so today.

Mitchel was drafted by the Redskins out of Arkansas, where he played in 42 games (starting 29) and recorded 157 tackles (six for loss), 18 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and four interceptions (one of which he returned for a score.  Last year, in his senior season, he played in 11 games (starting five) and notched 20 tackles (one for loss), two picks, and eight passes defensed.

As for Smith, he was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson earlier this year, and he participated in the offseason workouts with the team.  He was a long shot to make the roster but was still a guy with some talent, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him get picked up somewhere else for training camp.  For now, however, the Colts have waived him and instead claimed Tevin Mitchel, who is likely to miss the entire season.