This morning, the Colts signed free agent running back Chris Rainey (5-9, 180 pounds) to the active roster. There is no word yet on whom they will cut, but Rainey is a kick return specialist, which may spell the eventual end for either David Reed or Daniel "Boom" Herron. (There is an empty spot on the roster this week due to Erik Walden's suspension, so they don't have to make a move yet).
Rainey, the younger brother of Rod Smart (better known as He Hate Me), was a track star and kick returner at Florida who had a pretty solid year returning kicks for the Steelers last season.
From the Colts’ press release:
Rainey, 5-9, 180 pounds, was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. In 2012, he played in all 16 games, totaling 26 rushes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and 14 receptions for 60 yards. He also returned 39 kickoffs for 1,035 yards (26.5 avg.) and three punts for 16 yards. His kickoff return average ranked fifth in the AFC and tied for seventh in the NFL.
So, why hasn’t this speedy miniature running back earned a job this year? Well, this is a second chance of sorts. According to Pro Football Talk:
Rainey, a fifth-round draft pick in 2012, was dumped by the Steelers in the offseason after a string of off-field issues, culminating in an allegation that he assaulted his girlfriend. (Rainey’s girlfriend later denied that she had been assaulted.)
Rainey also tried to enter a Florida casino last year, from which he was on a self-exclusion list (sort of a voluntary ban that is upheld by Florida law), and he was arrested for driving with a suspended license in September 2012.
During college, he was in trouble over stalking and threatening his girlfriend (from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):
Rainey was charged in 2010 with felony stalking for sending a threatening text to his then-girlfriend that said, "Time to die."
That charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor, and he was ordered to perform community service and attend anger-management classes, which he completed.
In short, Rainey had better be a tremendous kick returner and an even better citizen as this most likely is his last shot. If nothing else, the guy has NFL-caliber speed: