AFC South: 2014 NFL Training Camp

Most significant move: Safety Delano Howell's neck injury isn't severe enough to force him to retire, but it is bad enough that he won't play this season. Howell was waived-injured. He'll revert to the Indianapolis Colts' injured reserve list if he clears waivers. The past few months have not been good for Howell, who spent most of the offseason as the leading candidate to replace the departed Antoine Bethea at safety. The Colts signed veteran Mike Adams in June and then Howell spent the final portion of training camp on the sideline watching because of his neck problems. A source told ESPN.com on Aug. 22 that Howell's neck injury isn't career threatening.

Trade that didn't work out: The Colts sent defensive end Jerry Hughes to Buffalo for linebacker Kelvin Sheppard in 2013. Sheppard eventually replaced starter Pat Angerer at inside linebacker and ended up starting seven games last season. But Sheppard got caught up in the numbers game and was released. He lost his starting job when the Colts signed veteran D'Qwell Jackson. The Colts have high expectations for inside linebackers Josh McNary and Henoc Muamba. Sheppard won't be out of a job long because he'll likely end up being signed by another team.

What's next: The Colts will form their 10-man practice squad that likely will include several of the players they released. The most notable player likely to end up on the practice squad is tight end Erik Swoope, a former University of Miami basketball player who never had played football prior to signing with the Colts in May. The Colts are intrigued by Swoope's athleticism. He has to learn how to do the little things better. Players such as linebacker Andrew Jackson, the team's sixth-round pick, and center FN Lutz will also likely end up on the practice squad along with several others the Colts waived.

Colts moves: Released DE Gannon Conway, RB David Fluellen, QB Chandler Harnish, DE Tyler Hoover, OLB Phillip Hunt, ILB Andrew Jackson, WR Ryan Lankford, WR Josh Lenz, C FN Lutz, S Dewey McDonald, DT Nnamdi Obukwelu, CB Sheldon Price, ILB Rob Ruggiero, TE Weslye Saunders, ILB Kelvin Sheppard, TE Erik Swoope, NT Brandon McKinney and G Josh Walker. Waived-injured OT Matt Hall and S Delano Howell. Placed OLB Robert Mathis on reserve-suspended list.
Most significant move: The Tennessee Titans made the surprise decision to keep defensive back Khalid Wooten and center Steve Vallos. Keeping Vallos is a shock. He appears to be temporary insurance for backup center Chris Spencer, who missed much of the preseason with an ankle injury. I think once the Titans are confident he’s right, they will move on to someone else at another position. The Titans have nine offensive linemen and are more likely to carry eight considering that first-rounder Taylor Lewan is the backup and both tackle and both guard slots and would take over if there was an injury anywhere but center.

Some value: Defensive end Lavar Edwards was a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 but didn’t fit the new scheme. The Titans got a conditional seventh-round pick from the Dallas Cowboys for him rather than simply cutting him, a good development. The Titans are deep on the defensive line where they have talented players such as rookie DaQuan Jones, free-agent addition Al Woods, Karl Klug, Mike Martin. Nine are starters but they provide some serious depth. Antonio Johnson (knee) was placed on IR.

What’s next: The Titans need better depth at receiver, where I expect they will look to upgrade on Derek Hagan as their fifth. They need better depth at cornerback, where Tommie Campbell was cut and the remaining guys behind the top three -- rookie Marqueston Huff, defensive back Khalid Wooten -- have little or no experience. They could look to a veteran instead of Travis Coons at kicker but I think the Titans will go with him in the opener.

Titans cuts: T Jeff Adams, CB Ri’Shard Anderson, RB Antonio Andrews, DL Chigbo Anunoby, K Maikon Bonani, CB Tommie Campbell, TE Chase Coffman, LB Brandon Copeland, QB Dominique Davis, DE Marcus Dixon, LB Moise Fokou, WR Marc Mariani, G Justin McCray, FB Collin Mooney, OL Eric Olsen, T Will Poehls, WR Rico Richardson, WR Brian Robiskie, TE Jason Schepler, CB Winston Wright.

Other moves: Traded DE Lavar Edwards to Dallas. Placed DT Antonio Johnson on IR.
Most significant move: Center Mike Brewster went from starter to the street. The third-year player from Ohio State was the starting center when training camp began but never seized control of the spot and eventually was passed by Jacques McClendon and rookie sixth-round pick Brandon Linder. Brewster’s biggest issue is he’s not a powerful player at the point of attack, and that also led to him getting pushed back into the quarterback in pass protection. Plus, he had two high snaps in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay and bounced one in the second half against Atlanta on Thursday. He was already in jeopardy of making the roster before that game and that likely sealed his fate. If the Jaguars do not add another center early in the week, then it’s likely McClendon will get the start in the season opener against Philadelphia.

Five WRs: The Jaguars opted to go with five wide receivers for the first month of the season -- Ace Sanders is suspended for the first four games -- and that leaves the offense with little experience at the spot. They’re in essence only going with four because rookie second-round pick Allen Robinson has missed nearly a month with a hamstring injury and hasn’t practiced fully since he was injured July 31. Rookie receivers can have a difficult time adjusting to the NFL and missing the entire preseason all but guarantees Robinson will have minimal impact in the early part of the season. Two of the other receivers that made the roster are also rookies (Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee), meaning the Jaguars have only two receivers who have caught passes in a game: Cecil Shorts (123) and Mike Brown (32).

Two QBs: General manager David Caldwell has said he likes to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster, but he’s only going with Chad Henne and rookie Blake Bortles, waiving Ricky Stanzi and Stephen Morris. That undoubtedly has to do with Bortles' quicker-than-expected development throughout training camp and the preseason. Had he not progressed from the way he was throwing the ball in OTAs and minicamp, then it would have been a surprise if the Jaguars had not kept Stanzi on the active roster. Stanzi is entering his fourth season but still has practice squad eligibility. If he isn’t claimed by another team, I’d expect the Jaguars to sign him to the practice squad.

What’s next: The Jaguars will try and sign several of the players that they waived to the 10-man practice squad and also will mine the list of players cut from other teams to fill out the squad. Caldwell is expecting to lose a couple players that he released and had targeted for the practice squad to other teams. We will have the updated depth chart and roster posted shortly.

Jaguars moves: TE Brandon Barden (waived/injured), OT Cody Booth, C Mike Brewster, WR Chad Bumphis, DL DeAndre Coleman, WR Tandon Doss (IR), CB Jamell Fleming, DT Ricky Havili-Heimuli, FB Eric Kettani, S Craig Loston, S Sherrod Martin, QB Stephen Morris, G Drew Nowak, K/P Kasey Redfern, CB Rashaad Reynolds (IR), DE Gerald Rivers, QB Ricky Stanzi, LB Nate Stupar, WR Kerry Taylor, TE D.J. Tialavea and LB Marcus Whitfield.

Houston Texans cut-down analysis

August, 30, 2014
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Most significant move: Cornerback Brandon Harris ran out of chances. They say you know who a guy is a football player by his third NFL season. Last season was Harris' third since being a second-round draft pick in 2011, and it wasn't an especially inspiring one. He didn't turn into a viable slot corner, and on the outside A.J. Bouye, a player who made last year's roster as an undrafted rookie, passed him during this year's training camp. Teams don't typically game plan much during the preseason, but in the Houston Texans' preseason opener in Arizona, the Cardinals picked on Harris. The Texans kept six cornerbacks: Kareem Jackson, Johnathan Joseph, Bouye, Elbert Mack, Josh Victorian and Andre Hal, a draft pick who improved significantly since his arrival in Houston.

Ronnie Brown extends his career: With a promising rookie backup in Alfred Blue, who is still learning to catch and pick up blitzes, the Texans need a talented veteran to help mentor Blue and Jonathan Grimes, another young player who played his way onto the roster his summer. They'll get that in Brown, a good locker room presence who is entering his 10th NFL season. That is, of course, not the only reason the Texans are keeping Brown. That would be silly. He can still play and fill in where necessary.

One undrafted rookie sticks around: Outside linebacker Jason Ankrah, an undrafted rookie out of Nebraska, steadily rose through the depth chart. I had some guesses about which undrafted rookies had a chance to make the roster, and one I thought could was Max Bullough, the inside linebacker out of Michigan State. Bullough had some moments of confusion during the Texans' final preseason game, which might mean he needs a little while on the practice squad to develop. Travis Labhart was another undrafted rookie who gave himself a chance, but I didn't expect him to make the 53-man roster. He's another guy who needs time, and the Texans have five receivers who don't.

What's next: Houston has the top priority on the waiver wire, which is set in reverse order of 2013 record. That means these cuts might not be the last. On Friday, the Texans already had started to take a look at which players might become available.

Texans' moves: WR Lacoltan Bester, WR Travis Labhart, WR EZ Nwachukwu, FB Toben Opurum, TE Anthony Denham, TE Zach Potter, OT Matt Feiler, C James Ferentz, G Bronson Irwin, G Alex Kupper, DE Keith Browner, DE Julius Warmsley, NT Ricardo Mathews, OLB Quentin Groves, OLB Chris McAllister, ILB Max Bullough, ILB Chris Young, CB Brandon Harris, CB Junior Mertile, CB Marcus Williams, S Jawanza Starling, K Chris Boswell
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans have poor cornerback depth.

Campbell
Campbell
To their credit, that didn't prompt them to keep Tommie Campbell. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports Campbell has been cut.

Campbell had a disastrous, three-penalty night Thursday, exchanged words with both safety Bernard Pollard and coach Ken Whisenhunt and gave up a bunch of plays. (One of those three penalties was declined, because the pass was completed for a touchdown.)

Campbell is an exceptional athlete.

I thought that would convince a new coaching staff to continue to give him time to develop. But his mental game has never caught up to his physical tools, and even his ability to force fair catches on punts was not enough to save him.

The Titans have Jason McCourty, Coty Sensabaugh and Blidi Wreh-Wilson as their top three cornerbacks. Fourth-round pick Marqueston Huff will also be on the team.

Khalid Wooten has been used as a safety this summer, but started as a cornerback and is regarded as versatile and able to do both. But I have heard he is unlikely to stick. Undrafted rookie Winston Wright has not yet been cut. I don't know if they like him enough for him to make it.

With or without Wooten and/or Wright, the Titans will be scanning the waiver wire and looking to add to their pool of cornerbacks.
INDIANAPOLIS -- After three weeks of training camp, four preseason games and more than a handful of practices at their facility, it’s time for the regular season to start for the Indianapolis Colts.

Holmes
And just like when they reported to training camp at Anderson (Indiana) University on July 23, the Colts head into the regular season with legitimate concerns about their offensive line outside of starting tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus.

The projected starters on the interior of the offensive line -- center Khaled Holmes, guard Hugh Thornton and guard Jack Mewhort -- only played a few snaps together because of injuries.

Holmes sprained his ankle on the first series in the preseason opener against the New York Jets on Aug. 7. He has yet to practice and the Colts are "hopeful" that he will be ready for the Sept. 7 game in Denver. It’s not like Holmes has an an upper body injury that would allow him to work on his conditioning while injured. He will need some time to work himself back into shape.

The youth and lack of practice time for the interior part of the offensive line is a scary thought when you take into account the Colts are about to face the team that represented the AFC in the Super Bowl last season. It's definitely not good for quarterback Andrew Luck and the running backs.

That is only the start of the problems for the offensive line.

Jonotthan Harrison, Xavier Nixon and Joe Reitz were also injured in the preseason. It got so bad that defensive end Tyler Hoover played 56 snaps at tackle against Cincinnati on Thursday.

"We’ve got a lot of injuries," coach Chuck Pagano said. "We don’t have a lot of time. And you know what? Nobody really cares, and nobody really feels sorry for us. So, it’s next man up."

Don’t get too excited about the 53-man roster once the Colts release it this weekend. The moving parts on the roster won’t stop after that because GM Ryan Grigson will be paying attention to the waiver wire so he can add some more bodies to the offensive line.

It has gotten to that point for the Colts before they have even played one regular-season game.

The Colts have plenty of playmakers at quarterback, receiver, tight end and potentially at running back. But none of that will matter if the five guys up front can’t run block or pass protect. And right now, you have to wonder if they will be able to do those things.

Houston Texans' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
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Examining the Houston Texans' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Keenum and Savage took all the reps Thursday night, and neither player's performance was pretty. Each completed eight passes and threw one interception. Keenum finished with a 33.9 passer rating while Savage finished with a 37.8 rating. This was supposed to be the night when one distinguished himself as the team's backup quarterback. Coach Bill O'Brien has never fully committed to saying these three are the ones who will be on the roster next week, but usually he leans that way. On Thursday night, he didn't have an answer on whether he would keep all three currently on the roster without examining the film.

RUNNING BACKS/FULLBACKS (5)

You could argue that Brown is someone who would be available at any point in the season, should the Texans need his services. I think that logic could lead to this group being one thinner, but I still like his value in helping younger running backs learn the professional game.

RECEIVERS (5)

It's tough to not keep a sixth receiver with Travis Labhart and EZ Nwachukwu doing some good things this summer. I would say Nwachukwu began ahead of Labhart, and Labhart caught him as the preseason progressed. If the running back group thins by one, this is probably where that spot will go.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

Fiedorowicz quickly passed Griffin, who entered offseason workouts as Graham's backup. This is an offense that will utilize tight ends heavily.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

Again, a little thin here, but these eight players include four who can play tackle (Brown, Newton, Clabo and Su'a-Filo), four who can play guard (Brooks, Jones, Su'a-Filo and Kupper) and three who can play center (Myers, Jones and Su'a-Filo).

DEFENSIVE LINE (6)

Please welcome Ricardo Mathews to the Ganguli 53-man roster. I don't know what took me so long. It finally became apparent to me that I was hanging on to one too many defensive backs.

LINEBACKERS (9)

Mercilus has had two strong games in a row. He said he has been thinking less lately, and it shows. I've added Ankrah, the undrafted rookie outside linebacker out of Nebraska to this list. Ankrah started Thursday night with both Reed and Clowney not playing. Ankrah had a sack and two tackles for loss against the 49ers.

CORNERBACKS (6)

No changes to this position group again. It's been a pleasure to watch Bouye's development. He faced a lot of talented receivers this preseason and held his own. I talked to him after Thursday night's game and asked what he's learned. He said he enjoys parsing his mistakes to figure out how to fix them. Bouye specifically noted going back and watching a touchdown he gave up against the Broncos last weekend.

SAFETIES (4)

Keo was chipper after Thursday night's game, and for good reason. He had a strong game on special teams and defense, on a day when he was fighting for his job. In my mind, this fourth safety spot came down to Keo or Eddie Pleasant. Pleasant had some strong moments during the four exhibition games so there's absolutely a chance he either beats out Keo or both make the team. For now, though, we'll reward Keo's strong performance against the 49ers.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Randy Bullock kicked a 52-yard field goal Thursday night. Lechler chilled on the sideline. They, uh, know what he can do.

Indianapolis Colts' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
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Examining the Indianapolis Colts' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)
This is the safest position on the roster for the Colts. They plan to always keep a veteran backup if Luck ever goes down with an injury.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

The Colts' running game took a hit when Vick Ballard was lost for the season with a torn Achilles. Chris Rainey, who had the inside track on being the No. 3 running back, was released after violating team rules. Harvey makes the team as a fullback after playing linebacker his entire career.

RECEIVERS (5)

You got an indication of where things stood with Whalen when the coaches allowed him to sit out with the rest of the veterans in the preseason finale at Cincinnati on Thursday. Then Da'Rogers, his prime competitor for the final receiver spot, showed his immaturity when he punted the ball into the stands after scoring a touchdown. There is the possibility that the Colts could keep six receivers.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

Allen, who missed all but one game in 2013, and Fleener have the potential to be one of the top tight end duos in the league. Doyle and Saunders are both familiar with the system after backing up Fleener in Allen’s absence last season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

There are plenty of questions surrounding the offensive line outside of tackles Castonzo and Cherilus, especially with Donald Thomas (quad) out for the season and Mewhort, Thornton, Nixon and Holmes dealing with injuries at different times in the preseason.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (6)

The Colts want depth on the defensive line so they can constantly rotate in players, so come the fourth quarter they still have fresh legs to get after the opponent. Jones was the key offseason acquisition for the Colts. Chapman showed flashes last season; now he needs to do it every snap that he is on the field. Kerr clearly outplayed Brandon McKinney in the preseason. Jeris Pendleton's season-ending ACL injury allows Kerr to make the roster.

LINEBACKERS (10)

All eyes will be on outside linebacker as the Colts look to find a replacement for Robert Mathis, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. Werner will start in Mathis’ spot. McNary is a player for whom Grigson has high expectations. It will be up to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on how he uses McNary. The Colts will have to release a player once Mathis returns from his suspension.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (10)

It is anybody’s guess how the secondary will perform. It is anybody’s guess who will start alongside Landry at safety. It looked like it would be Howell early in the offseason, but the Colts signed the veteran Adams in June and Howell has a neck injury that has kept him out the lineup for the past few weeks. Can Toler finally remain healthy? Can Davis live up to his contract? So many questions with no answers at the moment.

SPECIALIST (3)

This only changes if an injury occurs.
Examining the Jacksonville Jaguars' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)
General manager David Caldwell has said he likes to keep three quarterbacks, but I think he'll just keep Henne and Bortles and try and sign Ricky Stanzi to the practice squad. Bortles has been so impressive this preseason that there's no doubt that he would be the option if Henne were to get hurt early in the season.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

This should be a pretty easy decision for the Jaguars. Gerhart looked pretty good against Detroit and he's definitely the team's N0. 1 back. Todman has had a good camp and preseason. Robinson has value as an edge playmaker and another option in the passing game now that he's shown he can take care of the football. Johnson has to prove he can pass block and have consistent ball security. He's not likely to get much work this season.

RECEIVERS (6)
Ace Sanders has returned from his leave of absence for personal issues but he's also facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He doesn't count against the 53-man roster until after his suspension. Tandon Doss reinjured his ankle during Thursday's preseason finale and was in a protective boot in the locker room after the game. He had already missed 24 days because of the same injury and this latest setback costs him a roster spot. He may end up on IR/designated to return to start the season. That opens up a spot for Taylor.

TIGHT ENDS (2)

Harbor has missed several weeks with a calf injury but should be on track to be back on the field for the season opener. If that's the case then the Jaguars may only keep two tight ends, which would allow them to squeeze an additional offensive lineman or linebacker on the roster. I think the Jaguars would like to keep Marcel Jensen on the practice squad.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Center Mike Brewster struggled against Atlanta Thursday night and has gone from being a starter to the street. He's had several chances to capture the job but never did and is the biggest name on the roster that will get cut. An injury to Pasztor (fractured right hand) has reshaped this unit for the first several weeks of the season and it likely means an additional player making the roster -- most likely Wells, a rookie from James Madison who is coming off a shoulder injury. Bradfield moves into his starting spot at right tackle. McClendon and Bowanko are battling for the starting center spot and Linder appears to be the favorite to be the starter at right guard.

DEFENSIVE LINE (10)

This should be the biggest position-group upgrade on the roster thanks to the additions of Clemons, Bryant and Hood. Despite public perception, Alualu isn't on the bubble for two reasons: He played solidly last season, and there really isn't anyone else on the roster as talented as he is to back up Bryant. The Jags are excited about Smith, who could end up playing more than Davis as the No. 3 LEO (hybrid end/linebacker) by the time the season is over.

LINEBACKERS (7)

I thought Thomas was iffy but he has gotten work at middle linebacker in the latter part of camp and played a lot against Detroit and Atlanta. He's a good special-teams player too so I think this is where the Jaguars will use the spot gained by only keeping two tight ends. Stupar was solid for much of camp and remains Posluszny's top backup, but Thomas is moving up there. Stupar also is a solid special-teams player. Reynolds did a good job subbing for Watson (groin) during OTAs and minicamp at the new Otto position (replaces strongside linebacker). Watson has returned, but it's likely Reynolds begins the season as the starter there until Watson gets caught up.

CORNERBACKS (5)

Harris, a seventh-round pick in 2013 who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a back injury, should secure the fifth spot after rookie Rashaad Reynolds suffered a broken hand against Atlanta. Harris played well early against the Falcons but got beat for a long TD and also missed several tackles so he's going to have to keep proving himself week after week. Fourth-round draft pick Aaron Colvin will begin the season on the PUP list and doesn't count against the roster limit.

SAFETIES (4)

I had Prosinski as a bubble player and Joe Young making the team as the fourth safety, but Young was cut last week so that paves the way for Prosinski to make the final roster. Evans seems to be the name everyone mentions when talking about the first Caldwell draft pick to get cut, but although he lost his starting job to Guy, he's likely to stick around at least another year. Sherrod Martin had a chance to make a good impression against Atlanta but struggled.

SPECIALISTS (3)

These guys should have little or no competition to make the roster.
Examining the Tennessee Titans' roster.

QUARTERBACKS (3)

Same at it's always been.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

Not a lot of mystery.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)

The first three are locks, and after that it is wide open. I think Preston sticks and that Hagan makes it for now but gets replaced. I expect Marc Mariani and Brian Robiskie are out. The Titans will scan the market for a fifth who is better than Hagan.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

I can't see them keeping four. But they would love to have Chase Coffman if someone got hurt.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

A starting-caliber tackle is on the bench (at this point, Lewan). Stingily is still one of the best 53 and can play some guard.

DEFENSIVE LINE (8)

Martin and Johnson have been out for a long time with injuries. I think Martin is still a certainty. Johnson still rates as a guy who can help and is worthy, in their eyes, of a spot.

LINEBACKERS (9)

Bailey gets the last spot over Moise Fokou. But it's a spot where the Titans might look for a better 3-4 fit who can be a key special teamer.

CORNERBACK (5)

Depth here is insufficient after the top three, and I think the Titans should be looking for outside help this weekend. Campbell can force fair catches, and likely still outranks the inconsistent rookie Huff, who also looks to be a good special teamer and is a roster lock as a fourth-round rookie. They could go with four receivers, eight offensive linemen and an additional defensive back when they find him.

SAFETY (4)
PUNTER (1)
KICKER (1)

The better leg who has now had two preseasons wins out over Travis Coons, the lesser leg who has had just one. The question is how long Bonani is the guy. The Titans looked at three veterans this week.

LONG-SNAPPER (1)

Houston Texans cut-down analysis

August, 26, 2014
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Most significant move: There weren't really any very significant football moves in the Houston Texans' first round of cuts. Those gone as the team reduces its roster from 90 (the Texans had 89 for a few weeks) to 75 were long shots to make the team. Non-football-wise, the Texans placed David Quessenberry on the non-football illness list as he continues his treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He's talked often about how being part of the team and the support he's received from the team make him feel stronger, like he has an "army" behind him. He'll remain part of the group as he fights for his life.

Receivers stand out: The Texans cut three receivers in this round, which still leaves them with some very difficult decisions this weekend. Texans coach Bill O'Brien singled out that group Tuesday as being a very talented one. They could keep five receivers, or six if a sixth player forces his way on the roster. Undrafted rookie Travis Labhart is in the conversation to be that sixth player. He could make a case for himself on Thursday night in the team's final preseason game.

Texans' cuts: WR Joe Adams, G Conor Boffeli, NT Austin Brown, OLB Paul Hazel, NT David Hunter, WR Alec Lemon, OLB Terrence Lloyd, G Sam Longo, WR Anthony McClung, CB Junior Mertile, RB William Powell and OLB Lawrence Sidbury. In addition, safety Lonnie Ballentine was placed on injured reserve.
The Indianapolis Colts made four roster moves Tuesday afternoon to get down to 75 players.

Most significant move: Running back Vick Ballard was expected to be a part of the Colts’ backfield that also features Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw. The three were supposed to team together to help complement the Colts’ passing game. Ballard barely had a chance to show what he could do because his season ended before it really started. He tore his Achilles during a running back passing drill early in training camp last month. This is the second straight season that Ballard’s season ended because of an injury in practice. He tore his ACL in practice prior to Week 2 last season.

Harvey at fullback: With fullback Stanley Havili being placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which means he has to sit out at least the first six weeks, Mario Harvey will be the Colts’ lone fullback if they decide to keep one. Harvey is in his first season playing fullback after being a linebacker his entire career. The other option would be for the Colts to release Harvey when they have to get down to 53 players by Saturday and use one of their tight ends in situations in which a fullback is needed, as they did at times last season.

Colts’ cuts: RB Vick Ballard (injured reserve), OT Ulrick John (injured reserve), RB Deji Karim (injured reserve), FB Stanley Havili (reserve/physically unable to perform), CB Johnny Adams, CB Qua Cox, G Andre Cureton, G Marcus Hall, CB Kameron Jackson, WR Nu'Keese Richardson, LB Jonathon Sharpe, S David Sims, WR Eric Thomas, WR Tony Washington and FB Cameron White
Most significant move: There really isn’t one. Linebacker Jonathan “Tig” Willard pulled people out of a burning car on his way to camp a year ago. Cornerback Micah Pellerin was a waiver claim from Dallas last year. But no one on the list of the first cuts was expected to make this roster.

IR, waived-injured and an addition: Veteran linebacker Colin McCarthy (shoulder) was placed on IR. Undrafted rookie center Gabe Ikard (torn ACL) was waived-injured and will revert to the team's IR list if he goes unclaimed. The Titans added quarterback Dominique Davis as insurance for the preseason finale Thursday night against Minnesota. The cut to 53 needs to happen by Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.

What’s next: Six undrafted rookies are still on the roster, and they all could be among the 22 remaining cuts. The best chance to stick, at least for a while, is kicker Travis Coons. Another two qualify as first-year players and appear unlikely to stick. Even if they are all gone, another 14 will be called to visit Ken Whisenhunt in his office on Friday or Saturday and asked to hand in their iPad playbook.

Titans' cuts: LB Kendrick Adams, CB Marc Anthony, DL Lanier Coleman, OL Kevin Danser, LB David Hinds, OL Tyler Horn, WR Julian Horton, RB Waymon James, CB Micah Pellerin, WR Jaz Reynolds, S Hakeem Smith, WR Derel Walker, LB Jonathan Willard and WR Isaiah Williams.
Most significant move: The only one that really qualifies as significant is the team’s decision to cut cornerback Mike Harris, but it’s not like that move was a surprise. The former Florida State standout has been a solid nickel cornerback for the Jaguars since former general manager Gene Smith drafted him in the sixth round in 2012. He has 96 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups in three seasons. However, Harris isn’t a physical fit for coach Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme. Bradley wants bigger corners with length, and the 5-foot-10, 188-pound Harris doesn’t measure up. Harris is good enough to find a spot on another roster, though. He’s a pretty good special-teams player -- he blocked a punt and returned it for a TD in 2012 -- and runs well.

One more move: The Jaguars are finished with this round of cuts and have 76 players on the roster but will move rookie cornerback Aaron Colvin to the reserve/non-football injury list on Tuesday. He won’t count against the roster total at that point. Colvin, who suffered a torn ACL during Senior Bowl practices, cannot practice for six weeks after the season starts. The Jaguars could then decide to activate him or place him on IR.

A lot of new blood: Harris’ release leaves the Jaguars with just six draft picks remaining from Smith’s tenure (2009-12): defensive end Tyson Alualu, receiver Cecil Shorts, safety Chris Prosinski, defensive end Andre Branch, punter Bryan Anger, and receiver Justin Blackmon. Blackmon doesn’t count against the salary cap or the Jaguars’ roster total while he is suspended indefinitely. Quarterback Chad Henne and linebacker Paul Posluszny are the only remaining free-agent signees from Smith’s tenure. Of the 75 players remaining, 68 were signed or drafted by GM David Caldwell.

Jaguars' cuts: CB Mike Harris, WR Ramses Barden, LB Allen Bradford, G/C Antoine Caldwell, LB Josh Hull, FB Harvey Unga, S Joe Young, C Patrick Lewis, WR Kenny Shaw, LS Charley Hughlett, DB Deion Belue, WR Lamaar Thomas, RB Terrance Cobb, DT David Carter (waived/injured).

Houston Texans' projected roster

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
10:50
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Examining the Houston Texans' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)
A well-oiled 74-yard touchdown drive plus two-point conversion was cause for optimism about Savage. Savage said one of the things that kept him calm throughout that drive was the support he had on the sideline, not just from his coaches, but from the man with whom he's competing to be the Texans' backup quarterback. The quarterback room has been a smooth one this offseason and Texans coach Bill O'Brien believes Fitzpatrick's leadership is a big part of that.

RUNNING BACKS/FULLBACKS (5)

Blue got the start against the Denver Broncos -- a surprise start. He didn't even know until after warm-ups. Blue did well to convert a fourth down on a drive that ended in a touchdown. "It's fourth down. The coaches expect you to get it. Don't get denied. There's a lot of pressure. You have to get in your mind, I ain't getting denied. If anything it's going to be the defense, their defense is going to stay on the field." He didn't get the touchdown, but Grimes came in and got it shortly thereafter. Blue has some work to do toward becoming a more complete running back, but has the ability to back up Foster. I like Ronnie Brown's presence on this roster in a reserve/teaching role.

RECEIVERS (5)

Something interesting happened at slot receiver this week. Martin got a lot more playing time in the slot. Thomas had been a shoo-in as the Texans' slot receiver, but Martin took a step during Thomas's absence and surpassed him, in the coaches' eyes.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

The Texans opened their game Saturday with two tight ends in -- Fiedorowicz and Graham. Those are clearly their top two tight ends right now, and two they used together several times. It's interesting that Fiedorowicz's pass-catching ability was a question. That was mostly because Fiedorowicz didn't do much of it in college. He's showed now that given the opportunity, it's something that comes naturally to him.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

Having gone back and listened to an interview I did with O'Brien during training camp, I noticed he mentioned eight offensive linemen. For a while I'd been wondering how to finagle the roster to include more skill players, and if the Texans are comfortable that they have enough offensive linemen with multiple skills, they could do that.

DEFENSIVE LINE (5)

This exercise gives me an appreciation for how difficult cuts will be this week. I would love to include Ricardo Matthews on this list as he's had a nice preseason, but I don't know that the Texans will keep him over Nix.

LINEBACKERS (9)

Mercilus got a chance to start Saturday because of Clowney's absence. He has had a difficult preseason as he adjusts to life as a non-starter.

CORNERBACKS (6)

No changes to this position group. Saturday was tough for them -- well all of them who played as Joseph sat out as part of his rehab plan. Mack had an excellent week of practice. He had several pass breakups and one interception returned for a touchdown that delighted his teammates and coaches.

SAFETIES (5)

Lewis made a nice play during the game, with some help over the top during one pass that could have been a touchdown. His familiarity with the Texans' new defense has been big both for himself and for the rest of the defense. Pleasant took the heat, along with Bouye, for Peyton Manning's two touchdowns in the final minute and a half against the Texans, but O'Brien said on that play, the receiver was primarily the cornerback's responsibility. He added some blame for the offense for putting the defense in that position at all.

SPECIALISTS (3)

This group had a fun weekend in Denver with its high altitude and thin air. Boswell did quite a bit of punting and did well. Still, the kicking job is Bullock's to lose.

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