The Indianapolis Colts have waived five players today to make room for their waiver claims. The biggest name that stands out to fans is quarterback Stephen Morris, easily the team’s best quarterback this preseason.
Morris completed 38/56 passes, for 399 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions in four games this preseason. As we illustrated earlier in the preseason, Morris showed impressive traits in limited playing time, and was the only quarterback on the roster who could consistently move the offense. After an impressive game against the Dallas Cowboys, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said “we will take a long look at Stephen Morris, and the quarterback situation.” He even went so far to say that Tolzien “didn’t play bad.”
Chuck Pagano on why Scott Tolzien remains his QB1: pic.twitter.com/oZH7KZNyRG— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 21, 2017
This statement by Pagano makes this move even more head-scratching, especially when general manager Chris Ballard has been preaching competition at every position since being brought in this off-season. Defending Tolzien over Morris when he was clearly outplayed left the entire fan community and even former players left pleading for Morris to get more time on the field.
The general consensus has been simple: Not only should Morris have gotten more playing time, but he should have had the starting quarterback position if Andrew Luck was out with injury. The Colts, evidently feel differently. While the reason Morris didn’t get a true shot with the starters is unknown, one has to imagine there had to be some behind the scenes issues, whether that’s in the film room or something else.
Sooner or later the team had to make a move at the quarterback position, they were carrying four on the team after trading for Jacoby Brissett. Morris was the odd man out, most likely losing to Scott Tolzien as the third quarterback behind Brissett after he gets accustomed to the new offense.
Scott Tolzien: 23/34, 241 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Stephen Morris: 38/56, 399 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions.
Jacoby Brissett: 41/62, 465 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception. (played with Patriots)
While it makes sense to release a quarterback, it seems pretty clear that the wrong guy was released. This move has fans frustrated and asking for answers - answers that will likely never come.