Early in training camp, the Colts have been shuffling at safety. Clayton Geathers was injured three weeks ago working out away from the team during the offseason, leaving him sidelined as camp begins. Then early in practice on Wednesday, rookie safety T.J. Green left with a mild calf strain. Less than an hour into their practice, the Colts were already without their top two safeties at the spot beside Mike Adams.
That led to some shuffling on Wednesday, and we saw Winston Guy see a heavy workload as the first team safety beside Adams. He eventually left practice with cramps, though, meaning that the Colts were down their third safety! Through all of the shuffling, we saw one thing about the safety position in particular: Darius Butler was working there some.
But is that something the Colts are actually considering doing more? Chuck Pagano elaborated on it today.
“You know, he did some stuff for us in years past,” Pagano said. “We’ve had packages that Darius went in and played a safety position. Really, really smart guy. Great pro. Knows the outside, knows the nickel, knows the safety spots, so his versatility gives us an opportunity and a chance to, if we do have a guy get nicked and a guy go down, [Clayton] Geathers is down and then T.J. [Green] goes down, we’ve got some guys with versatility. D-Buts, one of the brightest guys in the room, knows what to do. So it’s good, you have to plan for that. We only get to dress 46 on gameday as you know, so it’s great to have guys like that who can play different spots.”
It sounds like Butler playing safety yesterday was mainly due to the injuries to other guys that forced Butler to see some reps there, but at the same time it also allowed the team to prepare for anything and everything. As Pagano noted, the Colts (just like every team) can only dress 46 players on game day, so if something were to happen to a couple of safeties like it did in practice yesterday, the Colts need to be prepared. That emergency plan is Darius Butler, but it doesn’t sound like the Colts are planning on working him there unless injuries happen.