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INDIANAPOLIS – The first 53-man roster for the 2019 Indianapolis Colts has been assembled.
On Saturday afternoon, Chris Ballard made the following roster moves, leading to the new looking roster below. This roster could see some change over the weekend, once waiver claims are processed on Sunday.
Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the 53-man roster:
Quarterbacks (1): Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly
Bowen’s Analysis: Start your search for Jacoby Brissett’s backup quarterback in Weeks One and Two. For me, and the Colts, Phillip Walker could not be the backup to start the season. Now you need to go sign a veteran quarterback on the open market, or make a waiver claim this weekend for a QB. Chad Kelly is heading to the suspension list for the first two weeks of the regular season, and will not count against the 53-man roster.
Running Backs (4): Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, Aca’Cedric Ware, Charcandrick West, Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Williams, Marquis Young
Bowen’s Analysis: This is the position group that was most predicated on health right now. Half of this quartet is injured, with Jordan Wilkins (foot) missing about a month of action and Jonathan Williams (ribs) getting hurt in the second preseason game. But the Colts feel good about having enough healthy bodies for the opener. There’s definitely a question about Wilkins playing in Week One, more so than Williams. Still, three backs on game day is enough for Frank Reich.
Wide Receiver (6): Deon Cain, Parris Campbell*, Ashton Dulin, Devin Funchess, Penny Hart*, T.Y. Hilton, Krishawn Hogan, Marcus Johnson, Roger Lewis, Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, Jordan Veasy
Bowen’s Analysis: The Colts felt the need, and have the luxury to keep an extra body at wide receiver with Zach Pascal. With Parris Campbell missing a month, the Colts need insurance at the wide receiver position. Plus, even with Campbell’s return this week, you still have Devin Funchess (back) missing the past few practices, so some security was needed. Pascal, with his special teams presence, is that 6th guy. I feel bad for Hogan. He had such a strong August, but maybe he can find a practice squad spot again.
Tight Ends (4): Mo Alie-Cox, Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, Hale Hentges*, Gabe Holmes, Ross Travis
Bowen’s Analysis: In my mind, Ross Travis vs. Hale Hentges was the toughest ‘head-to head’ battle to decide at the final cut down. The Colts are going with Frank Reich’s emphasis on this battle being decided by what the Colts are looking to emphasize. That’s the run game, which could need/want more of the blocking prowess that comes with Hentges. I love the ceiling of Travis, so we will see if he can sneak onto the pracicie squad.
Offensive Linemen (8): C/G-Josh Andrews, OT-Jackson Barton*, C/G-Evan Boehm, T-Anthony Castonzo, G/T-Le’Raven Clark, G-Jake Eldrenkamp, T-Antonio Garcia, OG-Mark Glowinski, T/G-Joe Haeg, C-Ryan Kelly, C/G-Daniel Munyer, G-Quenton Nelson, G/T-Braden Smith, G-Nate Theaker, T-J’Marcus Webb
Bowen’s Analysis: Well, keeping 8 offensive linemen is definitely something I wanted, but it does go against what Chris Ballard normally wants. It just goes to show you how poor Ballard thought the Colts offensive line depth was this preseason. I fully expect the Colts to make at least one waiver claim on the offensive line this weekend. While I like the roster flexibility with just 8 offensive linemen, I think Ballard would like another body up front. Eldrenkamp was a guy I thought the Colts might keep after he pushed ahead of Evan Boehm on the depth chart this past month.
Defensive Linemen (10): DT/DE-Denico Autry, DE-Ben Banogu*, DE-Gerri Green*, DE-Obum Gwacham, DT/DE-Margus Hunt, DE-Justin Houston, DT/DE-Tyquan Lewis, DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE-Carroll Phillips, DT-Caraun Reid, DT-Johnny Robinson, DE-Jabaal Sheard, DT-Sterling Shippy*, DT-Grover Stewart, DE-Kemoko Turay, DT-Jihad Ward
Bowen’s Analysis: Well, the roster moves from Saturday brought some good news on the injury front for Jabaal Sheard. The Colts didn’t place Sheard on injured reserve, so they expect his return at some point this season. And they still had room to keep Jihad Ward. This group has a nice balance of established vets, and some intriguing young talent, with a quartet of former second-round picks among the reserves.
Linebackers (6): Matthew Adams, Zaire Franklin, Darius Leonard, Skai Moore, Bobby Okereke*, EJ Speed*, Ahmad Thomas, Anthony Walker
Bowen’s Analysis: Throughout the offseason, this group has been pretty easy for me to pin down. Clearly, it was for Chris Ballard as well. He keeps 6 draft picks of his over the last three years.
Cornerbacks (6): Jalen Collins, Pierre Desir, Nate Hairston, Isaiah Langley, Chris Milton, Kenny Moore, Shakial Taylor*, Marvell Tell*, Quincy Wilson, Rock Ya-Sin*
Bowen’s Analysis: Over the past week or so, this position separated itself (in my eyes) as the most difficult to cut down. You could have gone many routes at corner. But the Colts are keeping 6, with the last two spots causing the greatest debate. Milton, a Ryan Grigson undrafted free agent signing, is just too darn good of a special teams player to cut. And the devleopmental project that is Tell gets a 53-man roster spot. Tell, a 2019 5th round pick, benefited from that Nate Hairston trade on Wednesday.
Safeties (5): Micah Abernathy, Clayton Geathers, Malik Hooker, Isaiah Johnson, Rolan Milligan, Kai Nacua, George Odum, Jacob Thieneman, Khari Willis*
Bowen’s Analysis: A bit surprised to see this group at 5, with Milligan rounding out the group. Will his stay be for long on the 53-man roster, or do the Colts think they actually need the injury insurance at safety? The improved health from Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers this offseason is obviously a change. You do have some corners with position flex to help out over here, if need be.
Specialists (3): K-Cole Hedlund*, LS-Luke Rhodes, P-Rigoberto Sanchez, K-Adam Vinatieri
Bowen’s Analysis: Duh. Adam Vinatieri’s knee injury has settled, so this was obvious for the three guys who received contract extensions earlier this offseason.