According to the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder, the Indianapolis Colts have re-signed 3rd-year wide receiver Griff Whalen to their practice squad. Whalen was released this past Saturday to make room to activate running back Zurlon Tipton from the team’s practice squad. Whalen reportedly had a fair amount of interest on the free agent market, but nothing ever materialized into an actual NFL contract from another team.
Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Griff Whalen (17) prepares to handle a kick-off against the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Signed as undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2012, Whalen has played the past 3 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He has 26 career receptions for 282 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
While he has served as the team’s 5th wide receiver, he has been most utilized by the Colts as a special teams returnman. On the season, Whalen was ranked 13th in the NFL at 25.3 yards per kick return through Week 11. However, the team looked to boost the return game by signing Josh Cribbs last week, which made Whalen expendable on the active 53-man roster.
Having Whalen on the practice squad is a bit of a luxury for the Colts, assuming another team doesn’t eventually claim him off of it. Having been with the team through the past 3 seasons, he obviously has a strong grasp of the playbook and offensive scheme. If a wide receiver is to miss significant time due to injury, Whalen is likely “the next man up” and is in-line to be promptly promoted.