While the Indianapolis Colts gained an offensive tackle off waivers, the team also lost a potential future special teams contributor and quality backup linebacker Sterling Weatherford, who was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears.
Weatherford, a rookie UDFA out of Miami (OH) that flashed at times during training camp and preseason with the Colts (showing solid range and coverage skills), may have been one of the franchise’s final casualties to the final 53-man roster game—as general manager Chris Ballard wanted to ideally keep him on the team’s practice squad going forward:
.@Colts GM Chris Ballard says losing LB Sterling Weatherford – who was claimed on waivers by the Bears today – was a "hard one." Team liked him.— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 31, 2022
He wasn’t the only loss for the Colts’ future practice squad hopes, as undrafted rookie free agent offensive tackle Ryan Van Demark (UConn), who Indianapolis initially paid a hefty $175K base salary guarantee to as a priority addition following the NFL Draft, elected to sign with the Buffalo Bills’ taxi-man squad instead:
OT Ryan Van Denmark is signing with the #Bills’ practice squad, per agents @NessMugrabi and @davidcanter. The #Colts offered him a role on their practice squad to stay in Indy but he opted to head to Buffalo.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 31, 2022
Van Demark, a New Jersey native, may have chosen to be closer to home and perhaps join a Super Bowl contending favorite. Van Demark had an impressive 9.48 RAS out of a maximum of 10.0 athletically, but is still pretty raw as an offensive tackle for the NFL and will take some time to further develop—so some patience will be key.