Colts Monday Notebook: Deon Cain Returns To Practice Squad

Colts Monday Notebook: Deon Cain Returns To Practice Squad

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Colts Monday Notebook: Deon Cain Returns To Practice Squad

Frank Reich’s weekly conference call following a game had some notable updates following the loss to the Dolphins. What were those updates?

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INDIANAPOLIS – After a 48-hour absence from the Colts, Deon Cain is back.

But not all the way back.

On Monday, the Colts signed Cain to their practice squad, once the young wideout had cleared waivers from the weekend.

Prior to the Cain news becoming official, Frank Reich said the Colts were hoping to bring the second-year wide receiver back, via the practice squad.

“All those roster decisions are really complex,” Reich said on Monday, when asked why the Colts first cut Cain on Saturday afternoon. “A lot goes into it, so many factors. The overriding factor was Chris (Ballard) and I sit and talk about every one of these things, seemingly every day, even if there’s not a move being made, there’s always dynamics of the roster that we are talking about it. At the end of the day, the one governing principle is what is best for the team? And the direction that we are going. Sometimes those decisions are tough decisions.

“Hopefully if Deon clears waivers, which we should know before too long, then we can act accordingly.”

What else did we learn from Reich on Monday?

  • If the Colts are going to make a move with Adam Vinatieri (and that’s obviously a big ‘if’) that decision would likely come in the next 24 hours. Frank Reich and Chris Ballard talk a lot in the immediate aftermath of a game. The two have a roster specific meeting every Monday evening for the next game. Reich’s answer on this Monday afternoon, when asked about the plan with Vinatieri’s, was: “I’ll give the same answer in that it’s all being evaluated every week, specifically this week. Honestly, Chris and I (last night) we kind of reviewed the game. After we each thoroughly watched the tape several times (Monday), we sat down and kind of reviewed the game. Our normal routine is about a half hour after this phone call here is when we sit down and talk about the roster, and project inactives and stuff like that. (Ballard) and I have not had any type of conversation like that at this point.”
  • On Monday, Frank Reich shared the plan for Jacoby Brissett this week. It sounds like the Colts want to make a decision on their starting quarterback much earlier this week, compared to the Saturday call last weekend. “If Jacoby is healthy, he’s our starting quarterback obviously, and he’ll go,” Reich said on Monday. “We are optimistic that the rest was helpful. We’ll get to Wednesday and see how he’s doing, but we are encouraged and optimistic. He’ll get as many reps as he can (on Wednesday). I’m not going to try to make any secret about it. I’m really not. If he’s practicing on Wednesday and taking a full practice, at that point, we will say we are ready to go, he’s our starter (for Sunday against the Jaguars), but we’ll wait until Wednesday to make that determination."
  • While Frank Reich says the Colts are evaluating things on a ‘day-to-day’ basis with T.Y. Hilton (who’s original calf injury on October 30th was supposed to follow a 3-to-4 week timetable), there’s some more detail with Devin Funchess and his broken clavicle. Funchess has been eligible to practice for three weeks, but has yet to participate. He is eligible to return to game action, for the first time since the season opener, this coming Sunday. “It’s looking like Funchess is going to (practice) this week,” Reich said on Monday. “Technically, he could be cleared for the (Jacksonville game this Sunday), but he’s got a few more boxes to check. We’ve got to make sure that he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we have to see how much he’ll be able to do on Wednesday. We are really encouraged, but still another box to check before we can go full bore in practice.” So, there’s a chance that the Colts might get a body (or two) back at wide receiver this weekend. Remember, the Colts have two divisional games in five days with the Jaguars on Sunday and the Texans a week from Thursday.
  • Eric Ebron’s plea last week for more playing time and targets came to fruition against the Dolphins. With the Colts beat up at wide receiver, the approach was to give the receiving tight end a bigger role. But Frank Reich said on Monday it was just a ‘coincidence’ that Ebron’s playing time grew following their discussion last week. “I always listen to players when they come in and talk. In fact, I’ve had several talks with Eric (in previous weeks as well). That wasn’t the only one,” Reich said. “I like keeping in close communication with those guys. This particular week that just happened to be a little bit of coincidence with some things that we wanted to do. Obviously, given our wideout situation and given the fact that the Dolphins played a lot of man coverage, we thought there was some good matchups there for Eric. And that was a big reason why (he played more).” Ebron had 5 catches for 56 yards in 12 targets against Miami. He actually played more snaps than Jack Doyle (43-to-42). Entering Sunday, Doyle had out snapped Ebron 29 percent this season (451 snaps to 268 snaps). Clearly, the man coverage approach from the Dolphins and the injuries at wideout played into more usage for Ebron.
  • A roster note: the Colts did lose one of their 2019 draft picks on Monday. Offensive tackle Jackson Barton, a 7th round pick out of Utah, was signed to the Chiefs active roster (Kansas City is really banged up on the their offensive line). Barton had been on the Colts practice squad for the entire 2019 season. So, now, neither of the two offensive linemen that the Colts drafted in the 7th round back in April are on the current 53-man roster (Barton to the Chiefs, Javon Patterson is on IR with a torn ACL from the spring).

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