The NCAA Tournament has been trimmed down to the Sweet 16 and for nearly all the 75 players currently on the Colts roster, fandom will have to turn elsewhere than the colleges they attended.
For wide receiver Reggie Wayne (Miami), nose tackle Brandon McKinney (Michigan State) and running back Delone Carter (Syracuse) hope is still there to watch their respective schools cut down the nets in Atlanta a week from Monday.
For others like Erik Walden (Middle Tennessee State) the dream died in the play-in game.
A trio of Ole Miss Rebels (cornerbacks Marsahy Green/Cassius Vaughn and offensive tackle Bradley Sowell) saw their school go from a No. 13 seed to a shot away from making the Sweet Sixteen.
Players that saw their schools bow out in round of 64 included: safety Sergio Brown/running back Robert Hughes (Notre Dame), outside linebacker Justin Hickman (UCLA), offensive tackle Ben Ijalana (Villanova), offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach/defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews (Cincinnati), wide receiver Jabin Sambrano (Montana), nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (UNLV) and kicker Adam Vinatieri (South Dakota State).
Defensive tackle Kellen Heard (Memphis) watched his Tigers drop a round of 32 matchup with McKinney’s Spartans.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Ben Ijalana, Bradley Sowell, brandon mckinney, Cassius Vaughn, Delone Carter, erik walden, Jabin Sambrano, Jeff Linkenbach, Justin Hickman, Kellen Heard, marshay green, Martin Tevaseu, NCAA Tournament, Reggie Wayne, Ricardo Mathews, robert hughes, Sergio Brown
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It looked like Anderson all over again.
No, this wasn’t training camp and the setting was a little further south at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center but back in the corner of the Colts locker room on Wednesday was the group of running backs, including Deji Karim and Mewelde Moore, looking like they had never missed a beat with each other.
Karim and Moore returned to the facility for practice on Wednesday as the next chapter of ‘next man up’ will focus on the running back position.
Moore played six games for the Colts this season and was frequently used as a third down back earlier this year before being cut on Oct. 29. With running backs Donald Brown and Robert Hughes being placed on injured reserve on Tuesday and Delone Carter out two to three weeks according to Bruce Arians, Moore’s return will directly impact Sunday’s game.
“That’s my goal at all times,” Moore said of getting back out on the field. “I’m a competitor and I love to compete. I’m very grateful to be back and being able to get a chance to play.”
Where as Moore survived training camp cuts, Karim did not with a crowded backfield allowing for only four spots on the opening day regular season roster.
Not only is Karim returning to the fold with playing time up for grabs this weekend but he is also coming to a team who he spent all of the offseason with, and now a team on the brink of the playoffs.
“When we are in meetings (Wednesday), going through the plays and everything it just came back naturally,” Karim said of the offensive scheme. “Just asking for details from coach (Walker) and putting things together was much easier.”
“I spent three years in Jacksonville and no playoff hopes at all, not at this point of the season, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Starting running back Vick Ballard is the lone healthy back that has remained in the lineup for the entire season.
As a nine-year veteran, Moore has seen his fair share of backs grow up before him and he admitted it’s been special sitting at home watching Ballard’s growth.
“I’m very proud just to be able to come in from the beginning of it and see Vick how he’s evolving and growing in the game and becoming more and more of a professional,” Moore said. “I’m very excited about it and I’m very happy that he’s achieving great things.”
While their numbers have changed to 37 (Moore) and 36 (Karim), both players are perfectly content with where the Colts are positioned in the middle of December.
Moore was a member of the Steelers Super Bowl XLIII team and it’s games at this point of the season that is why he finds himself still in the league at the age of 30.
“It’s what you dream about,” Moore said of playing in December. “This is the part of the season that every kid’s played in his backyard. A final play, fourth-and-two and you are diving over the pile. This is the type of football that now means the most. Football in December, January and so on.”
Tags: bruce arians, Delone Carter, donald brown, Mewelde Moore, robert hughes, vick ballard
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The Indianapolis Colts today signed running backs Deji Karim and Mewelde Moore to the active roster and placed running back Donald Brown and fullback Robert Hughes on Injured Reserve. The team also signed running back Davin Meggett to the practice squad and released running back Alvester Alexander from the practice squad. Offensive guard Justin Anderson was placed on the Practice Squad Injured List.
Karim, 5-8, 209 pounds, has appeared in 23 games over his three-year career, recording 98 rushes for 290 yards and 17 receptions for 130 yards. He was acquired from waivers by the Colts on April 30, 2012 before being waived-injured on September 10. Karim was originally selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round (180th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Southern Illinois University. He spent two seasons with the Jaguars before being waived on April 27, 2012.
Moore, 5-11, 209 pounds, has totaled 503 rushes for 2,261 yards and six touchdowns over his nine-year career. He has also caught 218 passes for 1,911 yards and eight touchdowns. In six games this season with the Colts, Moore has rushed nine times for 14 yards and has caught four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. He was originally signed by the Colts as an unrestricted free agent on June 19, 2012 before being waived on October 29.
Brown, 5-10, 210 pounds, tallied 108 rushing attempts for 417 yards and a touchdown and nine receptions for 93 yards in 10 games (four starts) this season. For his career, Brown has rushed 449 times for 1,840 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has also recorded 56 receptions for 553 yards. Brown was selected by the Colts in the first round (27th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Hughes, 5-11, 235 pounds, notched one rush for five yards and one reception for three yards in five games (one start) this season. Hughes was originally signed to the Colts practice squad on October 10, 2012 and elevated to the 53-man active roster on October 29.
Meggett, 5-8, 215 pounds, was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Houston Texans out of the University of Maryland on May 14, 2012 and was waived on August 26. He was then signed to the Texans practice squad on September 26 and released on November 27. At Maryland, Meggett saw action in 50 career games (17 starts), carrying the ball 485 times for 2,469 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Alexander, 5-11, 204 pounds, was originally signed by the Colts on August 15, 2012 before being waived on August 26. He was signed to the practice squad on September 3 and released on October 9. Alexander was signed back to the practice squad on October 30 and released on November 20. He was then signed to the practice squad again on December 4.
Anderson, 6-5, 342 pounds, was originally selected by the Colts in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He was placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List on August 27, 2012 and was activated on November 19. He was then waived by the team on November 20 and signed to the practice squad on November 23.
Tags: Deji Karim, donald brown, injured reserve, Mewelde Moore, robert hughes, roster moves
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Colts general manager Ryan Grigson is relentless in trying to build the back end of his 53-man roster.
Sure the glitz and the glamour of the starters dominate the headlines but it’s acquiring guys who might be out of football or searching for another opportunity to fulfill that dream that Grigson truly appreciates.
Robert Hughes fits that mold.
In less than two seasons, Hughes has bounced around four different practice squads.
The Colts were the fourth team he found after signing with Indianapolis on Oct. 9.
Hughes had been released from the Washington Redskins on Sept. 11 and was waiting for another call.
Little did Hughes know that come late October he would be called up to the Colts active roster and contributing for a team in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.
“It’s the fact that I get to go out there and help this team win,” Hughes said. “When you work hard and continue to fight for stuff like this, it’s good to kind of see things starting to fall into place.”
With the Colts rushing attack starting to develop the last four weeks, Hughes has been apart of that success from the fullback position.
During his days at the University of Notre Dame, Hughes was a tailback and found success in short yardage and goal line situations.
Did he ever think he would become an NFL fullback?
“Never did. Never crossed my mind,” Hughes said of moving to fullback. “But it’s an opportunity to be here in this league and it’s a privilege. You have to do whatever the coaches and your teammates ask you to do.”
Bruce Arians has never been a ‘fullback guy’ but likes the skillet that Hughes possess.
“I really like (Hughes) as a football player. He brings a bright, strong player who can play multiple positions and he’ll be a good special teams player,” Arians said.
“I see him more as a running back who can play fullback and gives us good quality depth. Big, power back and I didn’t really know he could do this job. He’s found a nice niche for himself. He’s got great hands. Again, he brings another receiver with some speed on the field. He’s not a traditional thud fullback.”
Hughes, who measures in at five-feet-11-inches and 235 pounds, made his NFL debut against the Dolphins and recorded his first career catch last Thursday against the Jaguars.
His contributions offensively have come mainly in short yardage situations while being paired in the backfield with 238-pound Delone Carter.
“He gets in there, puts is helmet on a defender and finds his way through the line to the defender very well. He’s very useful for us,” Carter said.
The use of a fullback is something that Colts fans haven’t been accustomed to as defensive players have tended to occupy that position for much of the past few seasons.
A running back turned fullback sits just fine with Hughes and his ability to impact the game in more ways than one is why Grigson and his staff brought him onto the active roster.
“It’s been a great opportunity,” Hughes said. “The more you can do in this league, the longer you can stay around. I’m just trying to do as much as possible and as much as the coaches can ask of me to do.”
Tags: bruce arians, Delone Carter, robert hughes
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The Indianapolis Colts today elevated cornerback Marshay Green and fullback Robert Hughes to the active roster and signed cornerback Teddy Williams to the practice squad. The Colts also released nose tackle Antonio Dixon and running back Mewelde Moore.
Green, 5-10, 175 pounds, originally signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent on April 26, 2010. He was waived by the Cardinals on September 5 before being added to the practice squad two days later. Green was elevated to the 53-man active roster on November 23 and was active for the final six games of the 2010 season.
Green was waived by the Cardinals on September 2, 2011 and was signed to the practice squad on September 5. He was then elevated to the active roster on December 31 and appeared in the final game of the season, making one solo tackle in the game. Green was waived by the Cardinals on August 24, 2012 and signed to the Colts practice squad on October 1.
Hughes, 5-11, 235 pounds, was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame on July 26, 2011 and was waived on September 3. He was signed to the Bears practice squad on December 19 where he spent the remainder of the season. He was then signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 19, 2012 and waived on August 31. Hughes was then signed to the Washington Redskins practice squad on September 3 before being released on September 11 and signed to the Colts practice squad on October 10, 2012.
Williams, 6-1, 201 pounds, was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Texas-San Antonio on July 29, 2010. He was waived on September 4 before being signed to the practice squad a day later. Williams switched positions to wide receiver midway through the season and was elevated to the active roster on December 21, 2010. He was inactive for the final two games. Williams then spent the entire 2011 season on the Cowboys practice squad before being waived on August 31, 2012.
At UTSA, Williams did not play college football, but was a standout on the track and field team. He was the school’s only four-time All-America selection and helped lead the Roadrunners to six Southland Conference Championships (four indoor/two outdoor) from 2007-10. Williams claimed nine Southland titles (five indoor/four outdoor), was twice named the league’s Indoor Athlete of the Year (2009-10) as well as Outdoor Outstanding Track Performer (2009-10). He also established UTSA records in the 55m (6.23 seconds), 60m (Southland-best 6.59), 100m (9.90), 200m (20.60) and 400m relay (39.59).
Williams’ 9.90-second 100-meter time was the fastest in the world during his junior season.
Dixon, 6-3, 322 pounds, was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on October 9, 2012. This season, he recorded one tackle in two games played. For his career, Dixon has appeared in 37 career games (10 starts) with the Philadelphia Eagles and Colts, totaling 50 tackles (39 solo), three sacks and two passes defensed.
Moore, 5-11, 209 pounds, was signed by the Colts on June 19, 2012. He has appeared in six games this year, totaling nine carries for 14 yards and four receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown. He also returned three kickoffs for 50 yards. In his nine-year NFL career, Moore has played in 119 games (15 starts), rushing 503 times for 2,261 yards and six touchdowns. He has also recorded 218 receptions for 1,911 yards and eight touchdowns.
Tags: marshay green, practice squad, robert hughes, teddy williams
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