This was a tough roster to crack, and I'm certain I've missed on more than a handful of spots. The cuts on the defensive line are almost a blind draw. The final two wide receiver spots are similarly guesses. And the offensive line depth could play out in many different ways.
Injuries also complicate the process, but that's the case every year.
With all of those caveats, here's my best guess at how the 53-man roster might shape up as the Colts prepare for the preseason finale at Cincinnati:
QUARTEBACKS (2): Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett
This was an easy call. I think Phillip Walker is a good practice squad candidate, but there's no competition for the top two spots.
WIDE RECEIVERS (5): T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal, K.J. Brent
There's a chance Brent opens the season on IR, which would open up a spot for Seantavius Jones, Kasen Williams or Reece Fountain. Pascal gets the nod here because of his usefulness on special teams.
RUNNING BACKS (4): Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Christine Michael
Mack's hamstring injury could complicate this spot, and a waiver wire claim is a definite possibility here as well as at WR. Michael likely holds down a roster spot for a month until Robert Turbin returns from suspension.
TIGHT ENDS (5): Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, Darrell Daniels, Ross Travis, Erik Swoope
This is a gut feeling. The tight ends are going to be a big part of this offense, and Daniels is the best blocking option among then. In fact, he's lined up in the backfield as an H-back from time to time. Injuries might not allow for the luxury of keeping all five, but the team can find use for all of them.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Anthony Castonzo, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Matt Slauson, J'Marcus Webb, Joe Haeg, Braden Smith, Denzelle Good, Austin Howard
The versatility of guys like Haeg and Smith help the Colts cover for the still unsettled RT position by keeping all the players who have been part of the training camp competition.
DEFENSIVE LINE (9): Jabaal Sheard, Denico Autry, Al Woods, John Simon, Kemoko Turay, Hassan Ridgeway, Ryan Delaire, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Tyquan Lewis
Like K.J. Brent, Lewis could wind up on IR to start the season. That would open a spot for a recent draft pick like Tarrell Basham or Grover Stewart. No matter how the cut comes out here, there are going to be some difficult choices.
LINEBACKERS (6): Darius Leonard, Skai Moore, Najee Goode, Anthony Walker, Jeremiah George, Zaire Franklin
Moore looks like a lock to continue the streak of UDFAs making the 53-man cut, and he'll likely start Week 1 at MLB. The versatility here means almost every one of these players can play two or all three of the LB spots.
CORNERBACKS (5): Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston, Kenny Moore, Pierre Desir, Chris Milton
This is another spot where a waiver wire claim is likely. The Colts also could choose to keep six CBs, but the health at safety caused me to go with an extra player there instead.
SAFETIES (5): Malik Hooker, Clayton Geathers, Matthias Farley, T.J. Green, George Odum
Green is dealing with an injury, and Hooker and Geathers are coming back from offseason surgeries. So I've kept undrafted rookie Odum, who has been a playmaker dating back to the OTAs in the spring.
SPECIALISTS (3): Adam Vinatieri (K), Rigoberto Sanchez (P), Luke Rhodes (LS)
No questions here.