INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts made a host of roster moves Saturday to reach the NFL’s regular season maximum limit of 53 players.
But it’s a move the team has yet to make that’s grabbing attention.
With Jacoby Brissett as the only remaining quarterback eligible for Week 1, an addition at the position is certainly on the way.
Third-year quarterback Phillip Walker was among the initial cuts, and Chad Kelly – impressive throughout the preseason – faces a two-week suspension.
A host of options became available Saturday as players across the league were released.
The most experienced among them is Brian Hoyer, cut by the New England Patriots. A 10-year veteran, Hoyer has made 37 starts for the Cleveland Browns (16), Arizona Cardinals (1), Chicago Bears (5), Houston Texans (9) and San Francisco 49ers (6).
He’s played in a variety of offensive systems and has built his career upon the ability to learn offenses quickly and fill in on short notice. Hoyer has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 9,902 yards with 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
Unlike many other options, he’s also a free agent. Players with less than four years of service in the NFL are subject to the waiver wire, and the Colts have the No. 26 priority in that process, which corresponds with the 2019 draft order.
Among those on the waiver wire, Cody Kessler could draw a good deal of interest. A three-year veteran with the Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars, he spent the offseason with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing in an offense similar to Colts head coach Frank Reich’s scheme.
Cardale Jones, cut by the Los Angeles Chargers, also has some connection to the Indianapolis coaching staff. He was on the Chargers’ roster during the 2017 season when Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni was the team’s wide receivers coach.
Any interest in the above passers, however, is speculative.
Indianapolis worked out veteran free agents Brock Osweiler, Matt Cassel and Brandon Weedon last week, and The Athletic’s Stephen Holder reported Saturday the Colts plan to take a look at David Fales, who was released by the Detroit Lions earlier in the week.
As for the players already on the roster, rookie Hale Hentges kept alive one of the franchise’s most impressive streaks. The former Alabama tight end made it 21 consecutive years with at least one undrafted free agent making the initial 53-man cut.
Some of the players waived Saturday could soon return. Wide receiver Penny Hart, safety Isaiah Johnson, wide receiver Marcus Johnson, safety Kai Nacua, cornerback Shakial Taylor and linebacker Ahmad Thomas were waived with an injury designation and will revert to injured reserve if they clear waivers.
The other players waived or released could return as part of the 10-man practice squad that will be assembled Sunday.
Tight end Gabe Holmes, defensive tackle Caraun Reid, tight end Ross Travis, offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb and running back Charcandrick West were released and immediately become free agents.
Among the players cut who will be subject to the waiver wire Sunday are cornerback Jalen Collins, offensive guard Jake Eldrenkamp, wide receiver Krishawn Hogan, linebacker Skai Moore and defensive end Carroll Phillips.
Also cut were a pair of 2019 draft picks – defensive end Gerri Green (sixth round) and offensive tackle Jackson Barton (seventh round) – who will be strong candidates for the practice squad if they clear waivers.
The remaining players waived were safety Micah Abernathy, wide receiver Ashton Dulin, offensive tackle Antonio Garcia, defensive end Obum Gwacham, kicker Cole Hedlund, cornerback Isaiah Langley, wide receiver Roger Lewis, center Daniel Munyer, defensive tackle Johnny Robinson, defensive tackle Sterling Shippy, offensive guard Nate Theaker, safety Jacob Thieneman, wide receiver Jordan Veasy, running back Aca’Cedric Ware and running back Marquis Young.