The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that the team has signed veteran punter Ryan Allen to the team’s practice squad—although he will assuredly be promoted to their 53-man active roster ahead of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.
Allen will be temporarily filling in for starting punter Rigoberto Sanchez, who recently underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, and should be out for at least a few weeks. (Although as The Athletic’s Stephen Holder points out, no formal roster move has been made yet on Sanchez—indicating he may have a quicker return than initially expected).
The Colts had an open taxi man squad spot as running back Darius Jackson was released earlier this week.
Allen was one of the top veteran free agent punters that Stampede Blue previously profiled.
Having been signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2013, the 30 year old punter played 6 seasons for head coach Bill Belichick’s squad before stints with the Atlanta Falcons (2019) and most recently, the Tennessee Titans (2020).
One thing to note is that Allen is left-footed, which can make things awkward for opposing punt returners in terms of picking up the football coming off of his punting leg. He also will likely assume kickoff and holding duties for the Colts.
Allen appeared in 1 game for the Titans this past November, averaging a whopping 50.5 yards per punt and 40.0 NET yards per punt—albeit on a limited 8 total punts.
In the short-term, Allen should provide a veteran addition with experience to the Colts special teams units—and the fact that he punts lefty could be a nice bonus.