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INDIANAPOLIS – Regular season football is getting closer and closer.
On Saturday afternoon, the Colts made a bevy of roster moves to shift things down to the mandated number of 53 players going into Week One of the regular season.
The trade of wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, for New England quarterback Jacoby Brisset, was the biggest headline of Saturday.
In trading for Brisset, who has two career NFL starts, the Colts have another option to turn to if Andrew Luck misses time this year.
This is the first 53-man roster of the 2017 season for the Colts. With waiver claims coming the next 24 hours, this roster will likely look a bit different come Sunday afternoon.
Here’s a look at the Colts’ 53-man roster:
Quarterback (4): Jacoby Brisset, Andrew Luck, Stephen Morris, Scott Tolzien
Bowen’s Analysis: With the Luck injury situation, the Colts decided they need to go out of house for another arm. The trade for Brisset gives the Colts another QB with NFL starting experience. Still expect Scott Tolzien to start in Week One, until Luck is deemed game ready in 2017. When Luck does return, the Colts will then have a decision to make if they still want to have four QBs on the 53-man. Carrying two quarterbacks is how the Colts have handled things in years past when Luck is healthy.
Running Back (3): Frank Gore, Marlon Mack, Robert Turbin
Bowen’s Analysis: Probably not a whole lot of intrigue into this position group, once Josh Ferguson had to be waived/injured. Given what Marlon Mack showed in the preseason, the Colts have to like the variety of their depth at the running back position.
Wide Receiver (5): Kamar Aiken, Quan Bray T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Chester Rogers
Bowen’s Analysis: The trade of Phillip Dorsett means the Colts might not have a single first-round pick from 2012-16 playing in Week One. Despite Chester Rogers’ lingering hamstring injury, the Colts are going to head into the regular season with five wideouts. Undrafted guys in Bug Howard and JoJo Natson did have some promising moments during the preseason. The Colts kept Quan Bray, so he is the expected kick and punt returner in 2017.
Tight End (4): Darrell Daniels, Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, Brandon Williams
Bowen’s Analysis: If all bodies were healthy, you could probably get away with three tight ends. However, Erik Swoope’s knee scope, and uncertainty to start the regular season, had to play a role in the Colts keeping Daniels, a 2017 undrafted free agent. With Daniels making it, the Colts have now have had an undrafted free agent on their roster for 20 straight seasons, one of the longest streaks in the NFL.
Offensive Line (10): T-Zach Banner, C/G-Deyshawn Bond, T-Anthony Castonzo, T-Le’Raven Clark, T/G-Denzelle Good, T/G-Joe Haeg, C-Ryan Kelly, G-Jack Mewhort, C/G-Brian Schwenke, G/T-Jeremy Vujnovich
Bowen’s Analysis: Injuries have really complicated things in the offensive trenches. Keeping 10 might seem like a lot, but the Colts have injury concerns with Kelly, Mewhort and Schwenke, who came off the PUP list last week. Once this group gets healthier, you could comfortably have nine linemen on the 53-man roster. But 10 on the O-line is a number Chris Ballard has mentioned before, prior to the injury questions for Kelly and Mewhort.
Defensive Line (6): DE-Henry Anderson, DE-Margus Hunt, DT-Johnathan Hankins, DT-Hassan Ridgeway, DT-Grover Stewart, NT-Al Woods
Bowen’s Analysis: This had to be a tough group for the Colts to whittle down. A guy like T.Y. McGill has routinely made plays for the Colts, but this position inevitably had to part ways with some quality. Obviously, the defensive line bunch doesn’t really see much special teams action, so this is a position that usually has a smaller number. The Colts elected to keep two recent fourth picks in Ridgeway and Stewart.
Linebacker (8): OLB-Tarell Basham, ILB-Jon Bostic, ILB-Jeremiah George, OLB-Barkevious Mingo, ILB-Antonio Morrison, OLB-Jabaal Sheard, OLB-John Simon, ILB-Anthony Walker
Bowen’s Analysis: This was probably the hardest position group to trim. You could have easily substituted a guy like Akeem Ayers on the outside and/or Sean Spence on the inside. Keeping just eight is probably one number too small, but with injuries elsewhere, the Colts had to make some sacrifices. Edwin Jackson (hamstring) went on injured reserve. George made an impression on Chuck Pagano, and should be a special teams guy.
Cornerback (6): Vontae Davis, Nate Hairston, T.J. Green, Rashaan Melvin, Chris Milton, Quincy Wilson
Bowen’s Analysis: Vontae Davis’ groin injury has really complicated the depth at corner. The Colts are going to count heavily on draft picks Wilson and Hairston to be ready right away. Look for Melvin to start at one corner position. Making the switch from safety, T.J. Green did make the 53-man roster as a cornerback. Chris Milton is a great special teamer.
Safety (4): Darius Butler, Matthias Farley, Malik Hooker, Ronald Martin
Bowen’s Analysis: Rounding out this group was anyone’s guess. Martin came over from the Jets, via trade, last week. The health of Hooker looks to be good with the Colts keeping just four safeties. Remember, Hooker played in just one preseason game, the opener.
Specialists (3): LS/ILB-Luke Rhodes, P-Rigoberto Sanchez, K-Adam Vinatieri
Bowen’s Analysis: At the start of Training Camp, you would have gotten some pretty good odds in predicting this trio working together in 2017. But the competition at long snapper and punter has led to Rhodes, a first-time long snapper, and Sanchez, an undrafted rookie. The Colts will have two inexperienced specialists working with the 22-year veteran at kicker.
-As expected, the Colts did keep safety Clayton Geathers on the physically unable to perform list. Geathers (neck) will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season and cannot for the first month and a half of the year.