The Indianapolis Colts had three out of their six cornerbacks miss practice for the second straight day today, so they have made a roster move to add another body at the position. The team promoted Eric Patterson from the practice squad to the active roster and placed D'Joun Smith on injured reserve with the designation to return.
For Smith, he will be eligible to return to practice with the team in six weeks and will be eligible to return to games in eight weeks - meaning that he could, if healthy, return for the Colts' week eleven game against the Atlanta Falcons (the Colts have a bye week in week ten). He could return to practice two weeks earlier than that, however.
Smith was drafted by the Colts in the third round of this year's draft out of Florida Atlantic and really like what he brings to the table, but he had a very rough training camp as he was forced to learn on the fly as he tried to cover the Colts' impressive group of wide receivers. Unfortunately, now his progress has been delayed due to injury, as the knee injury that kept him out of the game against the Bills will now force him to miss extended time. He was expected to be the Colts' fourth cornerback and provide the versatility to play at whichever cornerback position the team needed him to, but they'll be without him for the first half of the season.
Patterson was signed by the Colts during training camp as an undrafted rookie out of Ball State. Patterson did some good things with the team during preseason and, though he was released as a part of the final roster cutdowns to 53 players, he was quickly signed to the team's practice squad. After just over a week on the practice squad, however, he has now been promoted to the active roster.
Patterson gives the Colts much-needed depth at cornerback. Greg Toler and Darius Butler have both missed practice the past two days, leaving their status for Monday's game very much in doubt. With Smith now on injured reserve for the time being, that would have left just Vontae Davis, Jalil Brown, and Sheldon Price as the healthy cornerbacks before the signing of Patterson. Hopefully Butler will be able to go on Monday night (I'm not counting on Toler yet), but if not that means that Brown and Price will need to step up into a much bigger role. And Patterson? He'd be the fourth cornerback in his very first NFL game. The Colts are hurting at the position, which made it a great move to sign Patterson today.
To fill Patterson's spot on the practice squad, the team signed cornerback Brandon Dixon to the unit. That follows the move earlier today to sign David Arkin to the practice squad, taking Robert Myers' spot (who was released).