After cutting Antonio Cromartie and Sio Moore earlier today, the Indianapolis Colts have filled one of those roster spots by promoting linebacker Trevor Bates from the practice squad to the active roster.
Bates was drafted by the Colts in the seventh round of this year’s draft out of Maine, where he played in 46 games and recorded 207 tackles, 19 sacks, ten passes defensed, three interceptions, five forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Bates spent the offseason program, training camp, and preseason with the Colts before he was cut during the final wave of roster cuts. Soon after that the team signed him to their practice squad, where he has remained for the first four weeks of the season.
The move makes sense because of Bates’s position flexibility. He’s an outside linebacker and can be a depth pass rusher and outside linebacker, but he also can be a depth inside linebacker. So with Trent Cole on IR (and Robert Mathis struggling) and with Sio Moore cut today, it makes sense to sign a guy who can play both spots. Earlier this year Bates said that the Colts might move him to inside linebacker down the road, and we saw him play there some in the preseason. He’s not the answer at either spot and I wouldn’t expect him to get a ton of reps right away, but he’s valuable because he can be a backup at each linebacker spot while also contributing on special teams. When you have one guy who can do all of that, it makes sense to promote him to the 53-man roster to give him a shot.
The Colts still have one more roster spot open, though they might opt to save that for Arthur Jones. They have an exemption for him right now through this week, so they could certainly fill the spot for this weekend’s game, but it’s just as possible that the team might just be keeping the spot open for Jones. We’ll have to wait and see, but as of right now there’s still an open spot on the team’s 53-man roster.