Colts put rookie DT Drake Nevis on injured reserve

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Colts defensive tackle Drake Nevis tried to play through a troublesome back injury, and cornerback Jerraud Powers thought he could have played through a dislocated left elbow to help their teammates avoid a winless season.

Both will spend the rest of this season watching from the sideline.

One day after Powers and cornerback Terrence Johnson were placed on injured reserve, Nevis, a rookie, joined the same list Tuesday.

''It's tough, man, it's been a tough year all around for us,'' Indianapolis safety Antoine Bethea said after learning about Nevis during a charity event for his Safe Coverage Foundation.

The back injury had bothered Nevis since Week 4 and though he had recently returned to game-day action, team vice chairman Bill Polian said on his weekly radio show Monday night that he wasn't sure when Nevis could return.

He won't be back this season.

The decision means two of Indy's top three draft picks, Nevis and offensive tackle Ben Ijalana (knee), have landed on season-ending injured reserve. Nevis played in only five games and had 19 tackles after being selected in the third round out of LSU. Ijalana was a second-round pick from Villanova. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo also missed four games with a sprained left ankle earlier this season.

Losing Nevis makes the Colts (0-12) even thinner along an already depleted defensive line, but the loss of Powers may prove more debilitating.

He was the best cover cornerback on the league's No. 22-ranked pass defense. Powers led the team with two interceptions and had scored one of the Colts' few touchdowns. But when he landed awkwardly while trying to break up a pass in the end zone during Sunday's 31-24 loss at New England, Powers' left elbow popped out of place. He said the elbow was sore and back in place Tuesday night, and said he probably could have been back on the field within three weeks.

The problem: Team officials had so many other roster spots to fill and they couldn't afford to wait for Powers and put him on injured reserve for the second straight season.

''It's kind of a bummer,'' Powers said at the fundraiser. ''Last year, I had to go there. This year, I felt it was an injury I probably could have played with and dealt with. But speaking from a team standpoint, they needed the spot.''

Indy was off Tuesday and coach Jim Caldwell was not available for comment. The decision on Powers also was made after Caldwell's availability Monday.

The Colts' long injury list had already included four-time MVP Peyton Manning, who hasn't practiced since having neck surgery Sept. 8; middle linebacker Gary Brackett and safety Melvin Bullitt, both captains, who were put on injured reserve in September; Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark, who hasn't played since injuring his lower left leg Nov. 6; running back Joseph Addai, who has seen limited action since hurting his hamstring Oct. 23 and defensive tackle Eric Foster, who sustained a gruesome partial dislocation of his right ankle Oct. 3.

The latest injuries will only make things worse for Indianapolis.

''It has been that kind of year, it's one of the things we can't control,'' Powers said.

Also on Tuesday, the Colts signed defensive back Brandon King from the Miami Dolphins practice squad, claimed linebacker Kevin Bentley off waivers from Jacksonville, promoted defensive back Mike Holmes from the practice squad to the active roster and re-signed offensive tackle Mike Tepper to the practice squad.

Tagged: Colts, Dolphins, Jerraud Powers, Drake Nevis, Ben Ijalana

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