The Indianapolis Colts officially announced today that they have waived-injured running back Vick Ballard. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the team's injured reserve. To fill Ballard's roster spot, the team promoted inside linebacker Josh McNary from the practice squad to the active roster.
McNary was signed by the Colts in 2013 near the end of his service commitment to the Army, and he impressed enough to stick around on the practice squad out of training camp. Before long they promoted him to the active roster, where he remained through the 2014 season. He played in 20 games (starting four) over the past two years, notching 54 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He has been a contributor on special teams as well, notching 13 special teams tackles. He started four games for the Colts last year and is a player that they really liked, but he was charged with rape in January and was placed on the commissioner's exempt list. His contract expired in March and he wasn't signed anywhere, but just a few weeks ago he was found not guilty on all counts, and the Colts wasted little time in bringing him back. They had him in for a workout just a few days after he was acquitted and signed him to their practice squad. Now, after just one week, he has already made his way back to the active roster.
The Colts have concerns at inside linebacker, something that extended back to last season and continued to be evident on Sunday in week one. Starters D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman have limitations, and so we might see the Colts get more creative about getting some of their backups in there. Nate Irving is an interesting player to consider as he continues to see more reps after his injury last year, while the team traded for Sio Moore from the Raiders last week. Now, they have a fifth inside linebacker in McNary, who has potential and is a player the Colts like.
As for Ballard, he just couldn't overcome injuries to stick around. After an impressive rookie season in 2012, Ballard suffered a torn ACL in 2013 and a torn Achilles in 2014 that sidelined him for two straight seasons, and then in training camp and preseason this year he suffered a couple of hamstring tweaks that caused him to miss time. He surprisingly made the 53-man roster after final cuts, but he didn't practice at all last week and didn't even travel to Sunday's season-opener.
The Colts also made a few practice squad moves, signing running back Zurlon Tipton and guard Robert Myers to the practice squad and releasing defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton from the squad.