The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that the team has activated outside linebacker Trent Cole off of their injured reserve and waived backup quarterback Stephen Morris in a corresponding roster move.
Aug 7, 2016; Canton, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Trent Cole (58) and outside linebacker Robert Mathis (98) talk on the field at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The game was cancelled due to safety concerns with the condition of the playing surface. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The timing could be directly correlated to veteran pass rusher Robert Mathis battling a bicep injury and still being unable to practice this week, as Cole could immediately step into the starting lineup on Monday night against the New York Jets in the former’s absence.
If nothing else, he should see a prominent role in the team’s outside linebacker rotation from the get-go.
While Cole has been somewhat underwhelming as a pass rusher, having just 3.0 sacks in 16 games with the Colts, he’s at least proven to be serviceable as an outside linebacker for the team in his 2-year tenure.
Similarly, his run defense grade of +71.1 is the 50th best among “edge defenders”.
Cole’s sack total simply hasn’t been there, but he can theoretically be a decent option for the Colts in their pass rushing rotation and against the run–especially if Mathis ultimately misses a game or two.
Of course, the other encouraging news (although not necessarily for the player) is that the Colts released their 3rd-string quarterback, Morris, which means that the team must be confident that starting quarterback Andrew Luck will soon be cleared from the league’s concussion protocol.
There’s no need to carry three quarterbacks on the active roster upon Luck’s return, and it would be surprising if Morris isn’t re-signed to the Colts practice squad–assuming he clears waivers.