Colts Waive Last Year’s 3rd Round Pick D’Joun Smith Due to Injury


The Indianapolis Colts announced on Friday that the team has waived-injured cornerback D’Joun Smith, who will revert to the team’s injured reserve–should he clear waivers.

Originally a 3rd round pick of the Colts in last year’s NFL Draft, Smith suffered a knee injury in the prior preseason and never fully recovered during his 2-year tenure with Indianapolis.

Before the start of last season, he was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return. However, after being activated in Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons, Smith only managed to play in 4 games before being shut down for the season because of lingering setbacks with his knee.

Of course, this time of year it’s a numbers game for every NFL team with rosters having to be trimmed down soon from 75 to 53 players by Saturday afternoon.

Right now, the Colts simply couldn’t afford to wait on Smith any longer, especially with other key injuries at the cornerback position including to starters Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson. The team needs healthy and fully capable cornerbacks right now as backups, who can immediately step in and play.

It’s worth noting that Smith did manage to play in the Colts Week 2 preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, but was forced to leave the game due to a high ankle sprain. However, it appears that he was still suffering from side-effects with his knee as well in recent weeks:

"“We’re just going to have to see how these other guys progress,” said Pagano a week ago on D’Joun Smith and the team’s other young cornerbacks. “If D’Joun (Smith) can get to that point where the knee calms down all the time, and we can get a significant amount of playing time out of him.”"

Obviously, it really looks like a recent wasted draft pick for the Colts right now. It’s possible that Smith could always revert to the team’s injured reserve and compete for a cornerback spot next year if fully recovered.

However, it also shows how much the Colts valued Smith’s long-term potential by even exposing him to the possibility of waivers. Even before the injuries, Smith had his fair share of rookie struggles during the team’s training camp last year.

Team’s don’t normally release promising 3rd round picks entering their 2nd year–injuries or not, if they actually believe in their ability.

Either way, Smith presumably won’t be helping the Colts at cornerback this upcoming season, which certainly isn’t what the team envisioned–having drafted him out of Florida Atlanta with such an early draft selection just an offseason ago.