Colts Rumors

Eric Ebron, Nyheim Hines Impressing

  • TE Eric Ebron has been perhaps the most impressive newcomer for the Colts this spring, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, who also says 2018 fourth-rounder Nyheim Hines was the most exciting rookie to watch. Hines, a running back from NC State, has the explosiveness and versatility to thrive in new head coach Frank Reich‘s scheme.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Anthem, Suspension leaks, Colts, Luck

The NFL announced their new anthem policy a few weeks ago, and the NFL Players Association has apparently been preparing a response ever since. Although the union has been mostly quiet since the new rules were put in place, the NFLPA is getting ready to fight the owners in court, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Florio writes that “the NFLPA has retained multiple law firms to research the options for fighting the new policy.” Florio thinks the union could challenge the anthem mandate as a “non-injury grievance” under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Any such grievance would have to be filed no later than July, so we should know the NFLPA’s plans relatively soon. Another possible route would be to challenge any fines or penalties imposed on players protesting on constitutional grounds, arguing that it violates their first amendment rights, according to Florio. Whatever happens, it’s clear this issue isn’t going away anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The anthem issue isn’t the only fight the players union is gearing up for. Florio also reports that the NFLPA is preparing to fight the NFL over leaks that are damaging to players. Florio cites the recent leaking of the news of Julian Edelman‘s suspension before his appeals were exhausted as an example of the type of leaking the union wants to put an end to.
  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was recently seen throwing a football for the first time since his shoulder injury caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. While Luck remained very limited in practice the past few days, the Colts expect Luck to be able to “practice without limitations in training camp”, according to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Similar claims were made this time last year, but it still seems as of now that Luck will be ready to go by week 1 of the regular season.
  • In case you missed it, yesterday Sam Robinson took a look at all of the key 2018 holdouts.

Colts Switching John Simon To DE

  • The Colts are curiously attempting to switch linebacker John Simon to defensive end. As Zak Keefer of IndyStar.com writes, this is an especially questionable move considering the team’s lack of depth at linebacker. So far, no one on the Colts sounds overly optimistic about the switch. Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus didn’t give a glowing review of the 27-year-old, acknowledging that Simon lacks the size of a typical defensive end. “What you have to do is use your attributes, your strengths, use your get-off, all those things,” he explained. “He’ll figure it out as we go.”

    [SOURCE LINK]

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/15/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Colts Promote Ed Dodds To Assistant General Manager

Colts GM Chris Ballard‘s staff is rounding into form. The organization announced a number of changes to their football operations staff earlier today, including the promotion of Ed Dodds to assistant general manager.

Dodds has spent 16 years in the NFL, including a decade with the Seahawks, where he served as the team’s senior personnel executive. In this role, Dodds was responsible for scouting both college and professional players. The team earned five division titles and a Super Bowl title during his tenure. He was hired last season as Indy’s vice president of player personnel, and he’s also spent time with the Raiders organization.

The Colts front office has seen plenty of turnover this offseason. The team had fired former general manager Ryan Grigson back in January, and they quickly replaced him with Ballard, who previously served as the Chiefs’ director of football operations.

The Colts’ other notable personnel changes include:

  • Brian Decker promoted to director of player development
  • Jon Shaw promoted to assistant director of pro scouting
  • Mike Lacy promoted to player personnel scout

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/14/18

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Tennessee Titans

Andrew Luck Updates: Wednesday

After many months of bad news on the Andrew Luck front, the Colts’ centerpiece player has been making significant progress this week. A day after throwing lighter footballs at Colts minicamp, Luck was tossing the standard NFL football.

Luck began his Wednesday workout with the high school-sized footballs, but Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star tweets he progressed to the elusive NFL ball upon working with pass-catchers. This step came in the routes-vs.-air portion of the practice, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star notes. He adds Luck took about 15 or 20 throws with the NFL ball, and the tosses weren’t showing a drastic lack of zip compared to his pre-shoulder surgery form.

Luck will take Thursday off, per Keefer, but will continue to ramp up his throwing regimen in the six weeks between minicamp and training camp.

While these would be unremarkable developments in most injury-rehab cases, they aren’t for Luck, who had not thrown an NFL-sized football at a workout since last season. Luck admitted he tried to come back too soon last fall, leading to an IR placement and a lost 2017 season. He may be working toward being on the field when the Colts debut this season.

It’d been a slow process after that setback. Luck had not resumed throwing as of OTAs. But he’s now on course to presumably throw regularly at training camp. And the setback watch will intensify considerably at that point. For now, Indianapolis’ quarterback is moving in the right direction again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Try Out Keenan Lewis, Jacquies Smith

The Colts have eight tryout players on hand this week, including cornerback Keenan Lewis and defensive end Jacquies Smith (Twitter link via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin). Wide receiver Paul McRoberts, cornerback Juante Baldwin, running back Jordan Huff, safety Tim Scott, defensive end Evan Panfil, and defensive end Christian French are also among those looking to hook on in Indy. 

Lewis, 32, has not played since the 2015 season when he suffered a leg injury. In 2016, the Saints released him as he was slow to recover from a hip malady. He nearly rejoined the Steelers in 2017, but a medical red flag kept him from signing. Pittsburgh doctors reportedly found that Lewis had undergone a “failed surgery” and he filed a grievance against the Saints this year to recoup some of his lost salary.

Lewis, a 2009 third-round pick of the Steelers, spent the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh. After serving as a reserve through his first few seasons, he started all 16 games for the Steelers in 2012, compiling 71 tackles and one forced fumble. He ended up signing a five-year, $26.3MM deal with New Orleans during the 2013 offseason, and he started all 32 games for the Saints in 2013 and 2014. However, he suited up just six times in 2015.

Smith, 28, established himself as a serviceable edge rusher for the Bucs (13.5 sacks from 2014-15) before a torn ACL ended his 2016 campaign after only one game. After working his way back to full health, Smith had played in his first contest of the year during Week 4 last year, but saw action on only seven snaps. Smith wound up signing with the Lions during their bye week in 2017, but did not play in any games for them. A second stint with Detroit later in the year resulted in two appearances for Smith, but he recorded only one tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Hire Ryan Grigson

Former Colts GM Ryan Grigson is back in the NFL. The Seahawks have hired him to join their front office, according to an announcement from his agent.

[RELATED: Cowboys “Holding Out Hope” Of Acquiring Earl Thomas?]

Grigson, 46, was the Colts’ GM for five years until he was fired after the 2016 season. Outside of landing Andrew LuckT.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen his first draft, the rest of Grigson’s draft record was rather spotty. Meanwhile, his trade of a first-round pick for Browns draft bust Trent Richardson in 2013 probably stands as his most infamous move.

Grigson hooked on with the Browns in 2017, but he was let go by John Dorsey‘s regime. It’s not immediately clear what he’ll be doing in Seattle under GM John Schneider, but it’s likely to be scouting-focused. Officially, Grigson will serve as a consultant, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (Twitter link) hears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Colts QB Andrew Luck

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has still not thrown a regulation-size football since October — while he resumed throwing today, Luck tossed a high school football during practice, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

This isn’t the first time Luck has used smaller-sized football as part of his rehabilitation process, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, who notes Luck previously threw kiddie-sized footballs in April. Luck, who missed the entirety of the 2017 campaign with a shoulder injury, will be on a scaled-back schedule during training camp, per Holder, although Schefter reports Luck won’t have any physical limitations.

The story of Luck’s rehab, of course, is filled with stops and starts, and Colts management maintained at various points in 2017 that Luck was in no danger of missing the season. So while it’s fair to take today’s news with a grain of salt, Luck himself does appear to have a more optimistic view of his own health than he’d held previously. “Absolutely,” Luck said when asked if he’ll be ready for Week 1, tweets Kevin Bowen of Colts.com. “No knock on wood. I believe it in my bones.”

When healthy, Luck is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL: he posted more than 70 combined touchdowns in 2014 and 2016, and the 28-year-old is a three-time Pro Bowler. But Luck was limited to only seven total games in 2015 and 2017, and it’s fair to wonder whether his shoulder will hold up for a full season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.