Boone has been out since Week 7 with an ankle injury; the Broncos have three weeks to activate him. Signed in 2021, Boone has played a third-string role for most of his time in Denver. But Melvin Gordon‘s fumbling problem persisting led to some increased work before the ankle malady. The Broncos have three injury activations remaining.
NOVEMBER 13: Leonard may miss the remainder of the season, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The 27-year-old ‘backer is scheduled to meet with renowned neck surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles on Monday, which will provide some clarity on his playing status.
NOVEMBER 12: The Colts are getting some reinforcement on offense and special teams. The team has activated wide receiver/special teams ace Ashton Dulin from injured reserve. To make room on the roster, the team officially placed linebacker Shaquille Leonard on IR. The Colts have also promoted tight end Nikola Kalinic and running back Jordan Wilkins from the practice squad.
Dulin suffered a foot injury back in October, landing him on injured reserve. He returned to practice earlier this week. The 25-year-old made a name for himself in 2021 after earning a second-team All-Pro nod on special teams, with his 17 ST tackles ranking second in the league. Dulin also started to see a larger role on offense in 2021, finishing with 13 catches for 173 yards and two scores. Dulin was continuing to see a role on offense in 2022, with the wideout hauling in 12 catches for 168 yards in five games (one start).
We learned yesterday that Leonard had suffered a setback with his back injury during practice this week. The injury will now knock him out for at least four games. The linebacker has been limited to only three games in 2022 thanks to a concussion, nose surgery, and back injury.
“I had no power in my leg, just trying to fight through that through the whole season and Wednesday practice, something didn’t feel right,” Leonard said on Instagram (via The Athletic’s James Boyd on Twitter). “I had a setback.”
Wilkins, a 2018 fifth-round pick by the Colts, has seen a reduced role in recent years following three consecutive 300-plus-yard seasons to begin his career. The 28-year-old has seen time in one game for Indy this season, getting seven touches for 28 yards. Kalinic was a former second-round pick in the CFL. After spending the preseason with the Colts, he landed on the organization’s practice squad.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The biggest stories of the day for the Colts come in the linebacking corps. In addition to adding star linebacker Leonard off the PUP, Indianapolis acquired second-year player Grant Stuardin a trade with Tampa Bay today. Stuard was primarily a special teamer with the Buccaneers last year, playing in every game as a rookie. He’ll go from one stacked linebacker room to another, likely backing up Leonard upon his arrival.
The Colts have quite an interesting rookie class. A sixth-round defensive tackle, Brooks is the only drafted rookie not to make the final roster besides sixth-round tight end Andrew Ogletree who will start his NFL career on injured reserve. None of this is spectacular, though. The interesting part is that Indianapolis will roster four undrafted rookies to start the 2022 NFL season.
Former SMU safety Trevor Denbow finds his way onto the initial 53 after leading the NFL this preseason with five special teams tackles. Cornerback Dallis Flowers can also thank his special teams value as his athleticism was supplemented by a 53-yard kickoff return to help him make the team out of Pitt State. Former Cornhusker JoJo Domann joins Leonard and Stuard in the linebackers room. And the French-Fries offensive line combination stays alive as Wesley French makes the final roster out of Western Michigan.
There were a number of other players who have special teams’ ability to thank for their roster spot in addition to Denbow and Flowers. Running back Deon Jackson played on all punt/kick return/coverage units for the Colts last year, earning him a tightly contested roster spot over Lindsay and Williams. Cornerback Tony Brown was the team’s highest-graded special teams player in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus, and safety Rodney Thomas II played the third-most special teams snaps on the team.
Finally, the biggest performer of the Colts’ preseason was likely quarterback Sam Ehlinger whose stellar preseason led Indianapolis to roster three quarterbacks going into the season. The former-Longhorn’s impressive preseason play helped him earn a spot on the initial roster despite the Colts already rostering starter Matt Ryan and one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks in Nick Foles.
The Colts will have the opportunity tomorrow to announce any moves to form their 16-man practice squad. Players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the team.