It started with nagging injuries leading to a noticeable decline in play over the past couple seasons, transitioned into heavy rumors surrounding the Colts trying to deal Vontae Davis at the trade deadline, to him being demoted just last week against the Houston Texans and has now reached its zenith with the former Pro Bowl cornerback being released by the Indianapolis Colts.
We have released CB Vontae Davis. pic.twitter.com/0gENE5JItj— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 9, 2017
Just yesterday Davis relayed to the media that he felt disrespected by the demotion as he felt it was voiced to the public by Chuck Pagano as a ‘coaches decision’, not based upon an injury — that hadn’t been noted on the injury report other than Davis’ weekly rest day — and that Pagano hadn’t been the messenger of the move. Davis had indeed been dealing with a groin injury that he stated was ‘significant’, but since returning to the lineup in Week 4 of this season, the assumption was that he was ready to go.
There appears to be some questions in regards to the way the Colts handled the injury report with some even saying the Colts were lying about Davis’ injury, or the lack thereof if you ask the Colts.
Injuries are still required to be disclosed, even if the player practices. It's now clear they lied on Saturday to cover up the failure to disclose the injury during the week. https://t.co/WNzupOaNzp— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 9, 2017
Additionally, yesterday, Davis announced that he’d be moving towards season-ending surgery on his groin which would have placed him on Injured Reserve.
After seeking second medical opinions, Colts CB Vontae Davis is opting to undergo season-ending groin surgery, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 9, 2017
Now, the Colts have foregone that as an option and decided to release the 29-year old corner. Davis unquestionably had his best season as a pro with the Colts in 2014 when he racked up 4 interceptions, 27 passes defensed and 58 total tackles, but followed that up with another great season in 2015 in which he also hauled in 4 picks.
The Colts under new GM Chris Ballard are continuing to prove that they have very little time for struggling veterans as they attempt to rebuild the roster through a youth movement with Ballard hand-picking his type of talent. The Colts have replaced Davis with Pierre Desir opposite Rashaan Melvin, and were up to 8 corners on their roster after adding D.J. White after claiming him off of waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs. It appears as though this move was being forecasted in the days leading up to this move.
We can only assume that this trend will continue after the season ends.
Note: This appears to be a contentious situation between Davis and the organization, specifically to how the injury reporting should be done. For that reason, here is the INJURY REPORTING POLICY for you to make your own determination on how the Colts followed the letter of the law.