The Indianapolis Colts announced today that running back Ahmad Bradshaw has been placed on injured reserve, which effectively ends his season. In other news, the Indianapolis Colts signed special teams returnman Josh Cribbs and tight end Weslye Saunders, also waiving 5-year veteran outside linebacker Victor Butler in a corresponding roster move to make room.
Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) runs with the ball against the Houston Texan at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
What was a longshot for Ahmad Bradshaw to return is now over, as the Colts veteran running back will be ineligible to return even if he somehow makes a miraculous recovery on his broken ankle. He had an original 4-6 week timetable of possibly returning without surgery, but the Colts clearly couldn’t afford to wait.
The Colts will have to bring in a 3rd running back sooner rather than later before this weekend’s game against Jacksonville, as they only have Trent Richardson and Dan Herron on the active roster at the position. They could look to activate practice squad running back Zurlon Tipton or perhaps, even look at recently released veterans like Ben Tate or LeGarrette Blount.
It is interesting though that the Colts have yet to activate Zurlon Tipton yet in a corresponding move. If they were truly sold on him filling-in at the 3rd running back position, why wait? The team absolutely has to have 3 active running backs on its roster for Sunday’s game. This leads me to believe that perhaps Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson has bigger plans and is looking to make a splash with one of the two aforementioned veteran NFL running backs.
Or perhaps, they’re looking to see whether DT/DE Arthur Jones (sprained ankle) will be ready to go, so they can shed some of their additional defensive lineman depth for a running back.
As for Saunders, he appeared in 6 games for the Colts last season and spent this year’s preseason with the team. He clearly knows the system. With Dwayne Allen nursing a high ankle sprain, this signing likely indicates that he will miss at least a week or two. In his absence, tight end Jack Doyle will have an expanded role in the offense with Saunders now added behind him for depth. The team released Victor Butler, who had appeared in 2 games for the Colts, largely on special teams, registering 1 tackle.
The Colts also signed running back Michael Hill to the practice squad and released wide receiver Eric Thomas from it in a corresponding move.