The Indianapolis Colts made some roster moves this evening that may stand out to some fans. Receiver David Reed, after struggling with decision-making on kick returns, has been waived, along with rookie tight end Justice Cunningham, who played fullback in place of injured Stanley Havili on Sunday.
The team also elevated linebacker and Army veteran Josh McNary to the active roster and placed backup safety Delano Howell on Injured Reserve.
Reed’s departure leaves Indianapolis with just four active wide receivers (Hilton, Heyward-Bey, Brazill, and Rogers), but they could still promote Griff Whalen or rookie Josh Lenz from the practice squad in the near future.
Today’s moves also may illustrate the team’s faith in newly acquired kick returner Chris Rainey, who joined the roster last week but was inactive for Sunday’s game at Arizona.
McNary's story is a very good one. He eschewed the NFL draft to serve the United States as an Army Lieutenant after graduating from West Point Academy in 2011. McNary signed with the Colts in April after working out at the NFL Super Regional Combine in Texas. He has a way of getting after quarterbacks, but he may play inside linebacker in the NFL.
From the team’s press release:
McNary, 6-0, 251 pounds, was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on April 11, 2013. He finished his collegiate career as Army’s all-time leader in sacks (28.0) and tackles for loss (49), while adding 195 tackles (117 solo), nine passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He is the only player in school history to record two double-digit sack seasons and also holds school records for the most sacks in a single game (4.0) and a single season (12.5).
Cunningham was selected by the Colts in the seventh round (254th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft and was signed to the practice squad on September 2, 2013. He was then elevated to the active roster on November 19 and caught one pass for four yards in one game played.
Reed was acquired by the Colts in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens on August 21, 2013. He played in seven games this season and returned 24 kickoffs for 590 yards (24.6 avg.). For his career, Reed has returned 63 kickoffs for 1,740 yards (27.6 avg.) and one touchdown in 36 games played.
Howell was originally signed by the Colts from the Buffalo Bills practice squad on November 28, 2012. In 2013, he appeared in six games, making three starts and recording 24 tackles (14 solo) and two passes defensed. He also recovered a blocked field goal and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown against Seattle (10/6/13).
It’s sad to see any player waived. No matter how badly he struggles on the field, it’s tough seeing someone’s dreams crushed. Meanwhile, there are new beginnings for McNary, Rainey, and possibly fourth receiver Da'Rick Rogers. The NFL world moves on.
Here are a couple quick college highlight videos of Colts linebacker Josh McNary (Watch for number 44: