By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Two high draft picks from the class of 2011 — second-round offensive lineman Ben Ijalana and third-round defensive lineman Drake Nevis — were among the players released Saturday as the Indianapolis Colts whittled their roster to the 53-man regular season limit.
The departures of Ijalana and Nevis leave first-round pick Anthony Castonzo as the lone remaining player on the active roster from Bill and Chris Polian's final draft.
Among the other cuts Saturday were former rugby star Daniel Adongo, who had never played American football before being signed in July and didn't play a snap in the preseason, and linebacker Josh McNary, a former Army lieutenant who injured his hamstring during training camp.
They could be candidates for the eight-man practice squad along with Ijalana. That group likely will be announced at some point in the next two days.
Tight end/fullback Dominique Jones, who appeared in four games with the Colts last season and had six catches for 52 yards and one touchdown this preseason, also did not survive the final cuts. Nor did safety Larry Asante, who finished second on the team with 19 tackles during the four exhibition games.
Defensive lineman Lawrence Guy, quarterback Chandler Harnish, fullback Robert Hughes, offensive lineman Bradley Sowell, nose tackle Martin Tevaseu and offensive tackle Lee Ziemba also were among the players released. Each was on the active roster for at least one regular season game in 2012.
"It's extremely tough because over a short period of time, it doesn't take long to build relationships with all these players, coaches do," head coach Chuck Pagano said following Thursday's 27-10 loss at Cincinnati in the preseason finale. "Players in the locker room, they become their family. It's extremely hard, and it's the opportunity of a lifetime for a lot of them."
Others cut Saturday included center Thomas Austin, cornerback Marshay Green, wide receiver Jeremy Kelley, cornerback Sheldon Price, wide receiver Jabin Sambrano, and linebacker Monte Simmons.
Offensive tackle Emmett Cleary, linebacker Shawn Loiseau and cornerback Daxton Swanson were waived-injured. They will revert to the injured reserve list if they are not claimed on waivers.
Among the players surviving the cut down were outside linebacker Caesar Rayford — a 27-year-old rookie who last played for the Arena Football League's Utah Blaze — and safety Delano Howell — a second-year player who appeared in one regular season game last year and led the team with 24 preseason tackles.
"I play hard," Howell said in making his case after Thursday's loss to the Bengals. "I know my assignments and the fits. I played, like I said, not perfect, but I am going to be accountable to my team and everything. There are definitely still some things I have to work on."
More moves are likely over the next two days as general manager Ryan Grigson scans the waiver wire and evaluates players released from other teams around the league.