The Indianapolis Colts made a handful of practice squad moves as the team re-signed linebacker Forrest Rhyne, signed punter Nolan Cooney, and waived cornerback Ryan Smith and also wide receiver DeMichael Harris in corresponding roster moves.
The biggest move was obviously Cooney, who has spent time previously with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints organizations (via Colts.com):
Cooney, 6-3, 202 pounds, has spent time with the Arizona Cardinals (2022) and New Orleans Saints (2021) but has not seen game action. He was originally signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent on May 10, 2021. Collegiately, Cooney played in 36 career games at Syracuse (2016-20) and compiled 74 punts for 3,314 yards (44.8 avg.) with 24 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line. He registered 25 punts of 50-plus yards. Cooney also tallied 22 touchbacks on kickoffs. He earned All-America and All-ACC honors as a senior in 2020.
Incumbent starting punter Matt Haack, who’s filling in for the injured Rigoberto Sanchez, had a simply dreadful punting performance against the Tennessee Titans this past weekend. He punted five times for an average punt of just 35.2 yards.
While Cooney may not immediately supplant Cooney with a practice squad promotion right off the bat, it’s hard to imagine that Haack hasn’t effectively been placed on notice with this move. If he has another dud performance, he could be handed his walking papers rather quickly from the Colts in search of a new punting gig.
Haack is currently averaging a league low 42.2 yards per punt. He ranks 29th in net average per punt at 39.7 yards per punt. That being said, he has pinned 8 punts within the opponent’s 20-yard line which is tied for the 8th most in the NFL, so it hasn’t all been bad for Haack.
That being said, Haack is on the hot seat and could find himself as the second leg replaced on the Colts special teams units so far this season—if he doesn’t start punting better.