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NFL Roster Cuts 2016: Colts make moves to cut roster down to 53, including releasing Nate Irving

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NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts now have their roster cut down to 53 players, having cleared up 22 spots since Thursday evening’s preseason finale. Several of these moves were reported earlier today, but they are now all official. Here are the Colts’ moves to get their roster down to 53:

Cuts:

Sterling Bailey, DL

Trevor Bates, ILB

Alden Darby, S

Tay Glover-Wright, CB

Lee Hightower, S

Stefan McClure, S

MeKale McKay, WR

Christopher Milton, CB

Kitt O’Brien, G

Earl Okine, OLB

Kelcy Quarles, DL

Adam Redmond, G

Tevaun Smith, WR

Mitchel Van Dyk, T

Jeremy Vujnovich, T

Nate Irving, ILB

Stevan Ridley, RB

Other:

Hugh Thornton (G) placed on injured reserve

Tevin Mitchel (CB) placed on injured reserve

Ron Thompson (OLB) placed on injured reserve

D’Joun Smith (CB) waived-injured

Keep in mind (and this is really important) that this is not the final Colts’ 53-man roster, though the final wave of roster cuts has been completed. The team will be monitoring the waiver wire and cuts from other teams to see who they could bring in to help - like they did with T.Y. McGill last year. So this isn’t the week one roster for the Colts, but it’s their first 53-man roster of the year. It’s also worth noting that some of the players cut by the Colts today could be signed to the team’s practice squad tomorrow.

As you can tell, there are a few surprises on this list - the most notable one being Nate Irving, who was in line to be the starting inside linebacker alongside D’Qwell Jackson while Sio Moore is out with a hamstring injury. Is Moore ready to return? Is Antonio Morrison stepping in as the starter? That’s a surprising move, to be sure, but it also means the team kept Morrison, Josh McNary, and Edwin Jackson at the position.

At outside linebacker there also were some surprises. Earl Okine (the team’s best pass rusher in preseason) and Trevor Bates (a leading special teams contributor) were both cut, while Ron Thompson was placed on injured reserve. That leaves just Curt Maggitt among the young outside linebackers, in addition to Robert Mathis, Trent Cole, and Erik Walden. You’d have to think the team might be monitoring that position and thinking about bringing in extra help, while both Okine and Bates are practice squad candidates.

One of the biggest takeaways is that, at least for now, the Colts are sticking with three quarterbacks on the active roster. We knew they were really impressed with Stephen Morris this preseason, but it also seemed like they didn’t want to part with Scott Tolzien. It will be interesting to see whether the team will be able to keep three quarterbacks on roster moving forward or not, but they at least did so through the final wave of cuts.