Indianapolis Colts cut-down analysis

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
4:30
PM ET
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.

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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