Colts Rumors

Latest On Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri landed on the Colts‘ injury report Wednesday, and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero notes the 24th-year kicker went through an MRI after practice (Twitter link). Despite the scrutiny that’s come due to his poor performance, Vinatieri has kicked in every Colts game this season. But doubt exists about his Sunday status, leading Indianapolis to claim ex-Charger and 49er Chase McLaughlin. Vinatieri is planning to meet with Colts brass Thursday about the next course of action, per Pelissero. Considering his performance and teams not traditionally big on carrying two kickers, it seems IR could be a possibility for the NFL’s all-time scoring kingpin.

  • T.Y. Hilton acknowledged the possibility he will not play again this season. The Colts‘ top skill-position talent re-injured his calf last week and missed Week 13. He did not practice Wednesday. “I’m doing everything I can to get back out there,” Hilton said, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. “If I can, I can. If I can’t, then I’m going to have to shut it down, but I’m doing everything I can (to return).” Hilton has missed five games this season; the Colts are 1-4 in those contests.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Indianapolis Colts

  • Reverted to season-ending IR after 21-day activation window closed: WR Devin Funchess

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Colts Claim K Chase McLaughlin

The Colts currently have two kickers on their roster. They claimed rookie Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the 49ers, calling Adam Vinatieri‘s status into question.

To make room on their 53-man roster, the Colts waived tight end Matt Lengel. McLaughlin served as a replacement kicker for both the Chargers and 49ers this season. The latter waived him Tuesday.

Vinatieri has trudged through a brutal season and is now on the Colts’ injury report with a knee issue. He made it through a limited practice Wednesday. Considering Vinatieri’s injury- and performance-related concerns, McLaughlin looks set to kick for a third team this season.

In his 14th year with the Colts, Vinatieri has missed eight field goals and six extra points. The future Hall of Famer’s ineffectiveness has undoubtedly affected Indianapolis’ position in the standings. The 46-year-old specialist missed two kicks in Week 13, with one being blocked and returned for a touchdown.

The 24th-year veteran resisted an early-season retirement but has not found the rhythm from prior seasons. His 68% connect rate is the worst of his career, so it will be interesting to see if the Colts carry two kickers into their Week 14 game.

McLaughlin has made 13 of 17 field goals, with all four misses coming from between 40-49 yards, and was successful on all 15 of his extra point tries. The 23-year-old Illinois alum made the only 50-yard kick he’s attempted as a pro.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/3/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: LB Reshard Cliett

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Colts Promote WR Chad Williams

The Colts promoted wide receiver Chad Williams to the active roster on Tuesday, per a club announcement. Williams gives them another healthy wide receiver at a time when the group has been perilously thinned out.

[RELATED: Colts Meet With Dontrelle Inman]

This week, the Colts learned that Chester Rogers will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury. Even before that, T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell were both out of action in last Sunday’s loss to the Titans. Williams now joins Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson, and Ashton Dulin as the club’s only healthy wide receivers.

Williams, a former third-round pick of the Cardinals, caught 20 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown for Arizona in 2017 and 2018. This offseason, he found his way to the Colts practice squad after missing the Cardinals’ final cut.

Colts Work Out Dontrelle Inman

The Colts worked out wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Inman, who was recently released off of injured reserve by the Chargers, could reunite with the Colts after spending some time with them in 2018. 

Inman entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2014 and emerged as a legitimate pass-catching option for the Bolts. In 2016, he enjoyed a breakout season with 58 catches for 810 yards and four touchdowns.

Ever since, he’s bounced around a bit. The Chargers traded Inman to the Bears midway through the 2017 season, where he was unable to recapture his old magic. Then, he inked a one-year deal with the Colts, where

A series of offseason moves relegated Inman to the bench and he was traded to the Bears during the 2017 season. In Chicago, Inman returned to the starting lineup, but was unable to replicate his success from the year prior. As a free agent that offseason, Inman signed a one-year deal with the Colts and went on to appear in 15 games with nine starts. Still, he barely topped 300 yards receiving.

This year, he had a brief dalliance with Patriots before circling back to the Chargers. The veteran shined in Week 4 when he caught five balls for 76 yards as Mike Williams‘ fill-in, but a quad injury landed him on IR and, eventually, put him on the curb.

If signed, Inman could make his Colts return against the Bucs on Sunday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts’ Chester Rogers Done For Year

3:07pm: The Colts confirmed they will be without Rogers the rest of the way. Indianapolis will place him on injured reserve, Frank Reich said.

10:12am: Early tests revealed that Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers suffered a knee fracture that will likely end his season, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. However, Rogers will undergo further testing on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. 

Rogers, 25, has 16 catches for 279 yards on the year, including two touchdowns. He’s not the focal point of the Colts’ offense, but the Colts can ill afford to lose more wide receivers given T.Y. Hilton‘s ongoing injury issues. Hilton was missed Sunday’s game against the Titans and, at this time, it’s unclear as to whether he’ll be able to play against the Buccaneers in Week 15.

Following Sunday’s loss, the Colts are 6-6 with a 10% chance at reaching the playoffs, according to the odds at FiveThirtyEight. They’ll look to run the table and beat the odds as they wrap up the regular season against the Bucs, Saints, Panthers, and Jaguars.

In addition to Hilton and Rogers, the Colts also have receivers Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell, Marcus Johnson, and Ashton Dulin on the roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC South Notes: Jags, Tannehill, Funchess

As they limp towards the end of their second consecutive disappointing campaign, the Jaguars could be looking at a major organizational overhaul this offseason, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes. Several members of head coach Doug Marrone‘s staff believe Marrone will be fired at season’s end, and questions remain as to how long team president Tom Coughlin will remain with the club.

Indeed, La Canfora says members of Jacksonville’s front office are just as concerned about their job security as the team’s coaches and are beginning to explore opportunities elsewhere. Owner Shad Khan did consider a significant shakeup last year before opting to retain Marrone, Coughlin, and GM Dave Caldwell, but he may not be as patient this time. If Khan does elect to make a GM change, La Canfora names Scott Pioli as a potential replacement, and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels could be on the short list of replacements for Marrone.

Now for more from the AFC South:

  • The Titans are interested in extending their relationship with quarterback Ryan Tannehill beyond 2019, and as La Canfora writes, the franchise tag could be in play for Tannehill. The tag would come with a roughly $27MM cap hit, but with Tannehill suddenly a hot commodity, the club could hit him with the tag as a precursor to a multi-year pact. Of course, much depends on how Tannehill finishes the season, and while the two sides are unlikely to engage in contract talks in the short term, Tannehill looks set to cash in once the season is over.
  • Despite some hope that veteran wideout Devin Funchess would be returning to the field soon, the Colts have decided to shut him down for the year, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Funchess, who suffered a fractured collarbone during Indianapolis’ Week 1 loss to the Chargers, simply has not healed enough, per Rapoport, who says the plate inserted into the fracture did not work out as hoped. This is a difficult blow for the Colts, who have seen many of their top skill players miss time due to injury this year.
  • The Texans have been in the news a great deal over the last two days. The team placed first-round rookie Tytus Howard on IR on Saturday, and today we learned that the club will operate without a GM in 2020. Houston also got some potentially exciting news, as J.J. Watt could return to the field in time for the playoffs.

Colts And Ebron Disagree On Injury

Eric Ebron was recently placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury, and it apparently came as a surprise to the Colts. Ebron said in a statement at the time that he had been dealing with severe ankle pain since the beginning of the season, but Indianapolis apparently was caught off-guard. Colts coach Frank Reich said recently he was “not aware there was anything significant” with Ebron’s ankle, per Zak Keefer of The Athletic. Keefer notes that the tight end “missed only one legitimate practice due to ankle pain all season,” and that was back in Week 9.

Ebron’s statement on Twitter read, in part, “up to this point, the team and I have done everything in our power to manage the pain and get me out there each and every week.” That seems to be at odds with the Colts’ recollection. The team wasn’t happy “about how it went down,” tweets Stephen Holder of The Athletic. Keefer notes that Ebron is set to be a free agent in March, and the implication from the team seems to be that Ebron wanted to save himself for free agency, even if they aren’t saying it directly. Reich did say that Ebron had a scan on his ankle during training camp, but that “to the best of [his] knowledge, the scan was fine.” If the reports that Indy isn’t happy are true, then it’s probably safe to say Ebron will be finding a new home this spring.

Colts’ T.Y. Hilton Won’t Play Vs. Titans

The Colts will be without T.Y. Hilton against the Titans due to a setback with his calf injury, GM Chris Ballard announced on Thursday. It’s a bad blow to the Colts, who are pushing for a playoff spot in the Week 13 home matchup.

Hilton is now considered week-to-week. He first suffered the calf injury during practice on Oct. 30, which cost him games against the Steelers, Dolphins, and Jaguars. Head coach Frank Reich said that Hilton did not aggravate the injury in his limited snaps against the Texans last Thursday night, but something went wrong for the star wide receiver between then and now.

Without Hilton, the Colts will rely on Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, and Ashton Dulin. Meanwhile, fingers are crossed for the return of rookie Parris Campbell, who has missed the last two games with a fractured right hand. If Campbell can’t go, wide receiver Chad Williams could be a candidate for promotion.

At 6-5, the Colts have a 35% chance of making the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. Those odds will dip significantly if they can’t beat their AFC South rivals this week. Meanwhile, they’ll be paying close attention to the Texans, who are in the divisional driver’s seat, as they take on the Patriots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.