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Colts claim linebacker Deon King off waivers

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Minicamp Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts made a roster move today as they claimed linebacker Deon King off of waivers from the San Diego Chargers. In order to make room on the roster for King, the Colts waived wide receiver Marcus Leak.

King (6-1, 230 pounds) played in two games for the Chargers this year (over the past two weeks) and recorded one tackle, but he was waived yesterday. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Norfolk State by the Dallas Cowboys and he participated in the offseason program, training camp, and preseason with Dallas before he was cut during final roster cutdowns. The Cowboys initially signed him to their practice squad but soon waived him. The Chargers picked him up in early October on their practice squad and a month later promoted him to the active roster.

He had a very impressive collegiate career at Norfolk State, playing in 46 games (starting 35) and recording 372 tackles, 52.5 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and three picks. As a senior in 2015 he earned the Buck Buchanan Award as the top FCS defensive player in the country, and he was a consensus first-team FCS All-American that year as well. He was a three-time All-MEAC honoree during his collegiate career. As a senior, he led all Division I football players (both FBS and FCS) in tackles with 163 and also added eleven tackles for loss, three sacks, a pick, and a forced fumble while starting all eleven games.

The move makes sense for the Colts as they add a linebacker to the mix, since that’s their worst position group as a whole this year. King was a very productive collegiate player, though it’s likely that his role initially will be just on special teams. For a team that has gone through a lot of linebackers this year looking for someone to step up, however, claiming Deon King is a move with little downside.

To make room for King the Colts waived Marcus Leak, who was just promoted to the active roster last week during the bye week. He spent a few weeks before that on the team’s practice squad, so it will be interesting to see whether the Colts sign him back there if he clears waivers.