The Colts IR’d and PUP’d their way down to the league-mandated 75 player roster today, placing running backs Vick Ballard and Deji Karim, as well as rookie tackle Ulrick John on Injured Reserve, and putting fullback Stanley Havili on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (the PUP) list.
Ballard tore his Achilles tendon during a July practice after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. It seemed inevitable that Ballard would miss the season, but the Colts, as the Star’s Stephen Holder suggests, likely waited to place him and Ulrick John on IR so the two wouldn’t have to clear waivers first.
A little on each player from Colts.com:
Ballard has played in 17 games (13 starts) over the past two seasons, rushing 224 times for 877 yards and two touchdowns, while catching 18 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. He started one game last year before being placed on Injured Reserve on September 13, 2013. Ballard was originally selected by the Colts in the fifth round (170th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State.
John was selected by the Colts in the seventh round (232nd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Georgia State. He competed in 36 collegiate contests (25 starts) and was a two-year starter at left tackle. John also made starts at center and guard earlier in his career with the Panthers.
Karim was signed by the Colts as a free agent on August 18, 2014. He has appeared in 33 games over his four-year NFL career, recording 110 rushes for 341 yards and 18 receptions for 129 yards. He also has returned 91 kickoffs for 2,332 yards (25.6 avg.) and one touchdown. In 2012, Karim played in three games for the Colts, where he returned nine kickoffs for 328 yards (36.4 avg.), including a career-long 101-yard return for a touchdown in the season finale against Houston.
Havili played in 13 games (eight starts) last season, totaling 18 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown, as well as seven rushes for seven yards. He also added nine special teams tackles. Havili was acquired by the Colts in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles on March 28, 2013.
While it’s sad to see anyone go on Injured Reserve, there must have been a collective sigh of relief from the guys with temporary lockers, awaiting their fate by today’s 4:00 deadline. They’ll have a few more days to prove themselves, culminating in the annual I-74 “who-is-that-guy” match up with the Bengals Thursday night.