Indianapolis Colts’ final 53-man roster, practice squad projection

The Indianapolis Colts have until Tuesday at 4:00 pm ET to cut the roster from 80 to 53 players.

The roster will change throughout the season and even more likely the day after these cuts are made due to the waiver claim period. But the initial 53-man roster will lay the foundation for what the Colts want for the regular season.

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Some roster cuts will be strategic. The Colts may keep a player on the initial 53-man roster so they don’t have to subject them to waivers right away. This would be in the hope that they can sneak that player onto the practice squad later after other teams have already made their moves.

There will be some surprises along the way, and we’ll keep you updated with each move leading up to the deadline with our roster cuts tracker.

But without further ado, here’s our final 53-man roster and practice squad prediction for the Colts:

AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

1. Matt Ryan
2. Nick Foles
3. Sam Ehlinger

Right off the bat, we have a quandary. Ryan and Foles are the quarterbacks ahead of Ehlinger. The Colts could easily get by only keeping the two veterans on the roster. I don’t like the idea of ​​keeping three quarterbacks. It simply seems like a wasted spot. But Ehlinger was undoubtedly the MVP of the preseason. The big question is whether the Colts will risk losing him to waivers on cutdown day or try to sneak him on the practice squad later when other teams have already made their claims. For now, we’ll go with the latter scenario.

Notable Cuts: Jack Coan

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

1. Jonathan Taylor
2. Nyheim Hines
3. Phillip Lindsay
4. Deon Jackson

It’s likely the Colts are going to keep four running backs on the roster. Lindsay has proven himself to be the RB3 in the room, but because he doesn’t contribute on special teams, the Colts need a fourth. That’s where Jackson comes in. The second-year back probably did enough to keep the spot over Ty’Son Williams and undrafted rookie D’vonte Price.

Notable Cuts: Ty’Sean Williams, D’vonte Price

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1. Michael Pittman Jr.
2. Parris Campbell
3. Alec Pierce
4. Ashton Doolin
5. Desmon Patmon
6. Keke Coutee

Even after all of training camp and three preseason games, it’s anyone’s guess as to who the final wide receivers will be. Patmon seemingly did enough to hold the fifth spot in the room after recording 153 receiving yards across the final two preseason games. Meanwhile, Coutee proved he has special teams value as a punt returner, and that’s why he gets the edge over Mike Strachan. Losing Strachan to waivers will be a risk the Colts will have to take because he still doesn’t seem ready for a bigger role.

Notable Cuts: Mike Strachan, Ethan Fernea

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

1. Mo Alie-Cox
2. Kylen Granson
3. Jelani Woods

This room is as straightforward as it gets. They would have kept four until rookie Andrew Ogletree tore his ACL during training camp.

Notable Cuts: N/A

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

1. Matt Pryor
2. Quenton Nelson

3. Ryan Kelly
4. Danny Pinter
5. Braden Smith
6. Bernhard Raimann
7. Will Fries
8. Dennis Kelly

I’ll start by saying that eight offensive linemen is too few for Chris Ballard. The Colts will wind up adding to this group either through waiver claims or a trade. There just doesn’t seem to be any reason to keep the other depth pieces like Ryan Van Demark or Wesley French on the 53-man roster. Both could very well end up on the practice squad, but there’s still far too much development that needs to take place. It would be wiser to add a veteran.

Notable Cuts: Ryan Van Demark, Wesley FrenchJordan Murray

AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

1. Yannick Ngakoue
2. Kwity Paye
3. DeForest Buckner
4. Grover Stewart
5. Tyquan Lewis
6. Dayo Odeyinbgo
7. Ben Banogu
8. Eric Johnson II
9. Curtis Brooks
10. Chris Williams

The defensive line is another group that could look very different than our projection. The biggest omission here is defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, who had a strong preseason for the Colts. But it simply comes down to a numbers game. Maybe the Colts try to sneak one of the depth defensive tackles on the practice squad and keep Odenigbo on the roster, but they could have seen enough from Banogu and Lewis to feel comfortable about the depth on the edge.

Notable Cuts: Ifeadi Odenigbo, RJ McIntosh, Byron Cowart

(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

1. Shaquille Leonard
2. Bobby Okereke
3. Zaire Franklin
4. EJ Speed
5. Sterling Weatherford
6. Jojo Domann

I feel pretty confident about this group. The final two spots in the room are the ones in question, but Weatherford and Domann present the right mixture of defensive upside and special teams capabilities to round out the room. Fellow undrafted rookies James Skalski and Forrest Rhyne should wind up on the practice squad while veteran Brandon King didn’t really do much to truly earn a spot.

Notable Cuts: Brandon King, Forrest Rhyne, James Skalski

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1. Stephon Gilmore
2. Kenny Moore II
3. Brandon Facyson
4. Isaiah Rodgers
5. Tony Brown
6. Anthony Chelsea

I don’t think the Colts have enough depth to get away with keeping just five cornerbacks, but we’ll see. Brown is pretty locked in as the fifth cornerback it seems while that sixth and final spot could go to a few players. We roll with Chesley here after a solid preseason showing.

Notable Cuts: Marvel Tell III, Chris Wilcox, Dallis Flowers

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

1. Julian Blackmon
2. Nick Cross
3. Rodney McLeod
4. Rodney Thomas II

Following the news that Armani Watts will miss the rest of the season due to an ankle injury, the rookie in Thomas gets a chance to make the 53-man roster. He showed enough during the preseason that he can be a back-end depth piece. A name to keep an eye on here is Trevor Denbow. If the Colts only go with five cornerbacks (even though I don’t think they should), Denbow would be the replacement.

AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

1. Rodrigo Blankenship
2. Matt Haack
3. Luke Rhodes

Haack seems like a viable replacement for Rigoberto Sanchez.

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Offensive (24)

Pos First Second Third Fourth
QB Matt Ryan Nick Foles Sam Ehlinger
RB Jonathan Taylor Nyheim Hines Phillip Lindsay Deon Jackson
WR Michael Pittman Jr. Alec Pierce Dezmon Patmon
WR Parris Campbell Ashton Doolin Keke Coutee
TE Mo Alie-Cox Kylen Granson Jelani Woods
LT Matt Pryor Bernhard Raimann
LG Quenton Nelson Will Fries
C Ryan Kelly
RG Danny Pinter
RT Braden Smith Dennis Kelly

Defense (26)

Pos. First Second Third
DE Yannick Ngakoue Ben Banogu
DT DeForest Buckner Dayo Odeyinbgo Curtis Brooks
DT Grover Stewart Chris Williams Eric Johnson II
DE Kwity Paye Tyquan Lewis
LB Shaquille Leonard Zaire Franklin Sterling Weatherford
LB Bobby Okereke EJ Speed Jojo Domann
CB Stephen Gilmore Brandon Facyson Tony Brown
CB Kenny Moore II Isaiah Rodgers Anthony Chesley
FS Julian Blackmon Rodney McLeod
SS Nick Cross Rodney Thomas II

Specialists (3)

Pos. Player
K Rodrigo Blankenship
P Matt Haack
LS Luke Rhodes

Here is a prediction of the practice squad for the Colts based on our 53-man roster:

RB D’vonte Price
RB CJ Verdell
WR Mike Strachan
WR Ethan Fernea
WR Samson Nacua
TE Nikola Kalinic
TE Michael Jacobson
OT Ryan Van Demark
G Wesley French
DE Cameron Cline
DT RJ McIntosh
LB James Skalski
LB Forrest Rhyne
CB Marvell Tell III
CB Dallis Flowers
S Trevor Denbow

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