The Indianapolis Colts cut 17 players on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: Nate Irving spent the majority of training camp and the preseason working with the first unit at inside linebacker. But he ended up being the most surprising name on the list of players the Colts cut. The Colts signed him prior to the 2015 season knowing that it would take some time for him to work his way back from a knee injury sustained with the Denver Broncos in 2014. Irving played in only eight games with Indianapolis in 2015, but it appeared he would be ready to take on a more prominent role this season because he was finally healthy, as well as due to the departure of Jerrell Freeman. But the Colts have high hopes for young linebackers like Antonio Morrison and Edwin Jackson. Josh McNary, who is also competing for playing time at inside linebacker, is a valuable special-teams contributor. He blocked a punt in the preseason.
Most significant non-move: The Colts are keeping three quarterbacks on the active roster for the first time since the 2012 season. Stephen Morris will be the third quarterback behind Andrew Luck and Scott Tolzien. The Colts didn’t want to risk cutting Morris because he had a good enough preseason that he would have likely been picked up by another team. Morris finished the preseason 39-of-61 for 531 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
The streak continues: The Colts kept undrafted free-agent running back Josh Ferguson, receiver Chester Rogers, linebacker Curt Maggitt and cornerback Frankie Williams. That makes it 18 straight years that the Colts have kept an undrafted free agent the 53-man roster. The 18 straight years is the longest active streak in the NFL. Rogers will compete with Quan Bray to be the Colts’ fourth receiver and Ferguson is in the mix to be Frank Gore’s backup at running back. Williams, who played at nearby Purdue, was a rookie minicamp tryout player.
Short stay: Running back Stevan Ridley didn’t even last a week with the Colts. He was one of the 17 players the Colts released Saturday. The Colts signed Ridley on Aug. 28 to see if he would be able to compete for one of the backup running back spots. It’s not surprising that Ridley didn’t stick because he barely saw the field during the first two preseason games with the Detroit Lions before they released him.
Colts' moves: DE Sterling Bailey, LB Trevor Bates, S Alden Darby, CB Tay Glover-Wright, S Lee Hightower, S Stefan McClure, WR MeKale McKay, CB Christopher Milton, OL Kitt O’Brien, LB Earl Okine, DL Kelcy Quarles, OL Adam Redmond, WR Tevaun Smith, OL Mitchell Van Dyk, LB Nate Irving, RB Stevan Ridley and OL Jeremy Vujnovich.