Indianapolis Colts: Chris Rainey

Signing Draughn means Brown might sit

December, 17, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – Lost in the news of linebacker Pat Angerer going on injured reserve because of a knee injury was that the Indianapolis Colts signed running back Shaun Draughn to take Angerer’s spot on the roster.

The signing gives the indication that the stinger Donald Brown suffered against the Houston Texans last weekend could cause him to miss some time.

If that’s the case, Trent Richardson, who rushed for 64 yards against the Texans, would move back into the starting lineup and Tashard Choice, whom the Colts signed last week after Chris Rainey was lost for the season, would likely back him up against Kansas City this weekend.

“Really don’t have a choice,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Monday when asked about putting Choice in the rotation. “I wouldn’t have any regardless, but it’s really all we have. He’s going to have to. And I like what he did [Sunday] coming in and had the good return on the kickoff return and got some carries in the back. He’s a smart guy, he’s a tough guy, he’s ran the ball before, so I have no problems.”

Draughn has appeared in 20 games, rushing 63 times for 235 yards and two touchdowns while bouncing around with the Chiefs, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. He can also return kickoffs.

Practice report: Toler to miss fifth game

November, 29, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts starting cornerback Greg Toler will miss his fifth straight game with a groin injury.

Coach Chuck Pagano is optimistic that Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans will be the last game Toler misses.

“It’s disappointing and frustrating, nobody more than Greg, that thing hasn’t come back as fast as he would like, but he’s real close,” Pagano said. “I’d be shocked if he wasn’t back next week. I’m not going to make any promises or guarantees, obviously.”

Cassius Vaughn will continue to start in Toler's place.

Pagano also said Chris Rainey, whom the Colts signed Nov. 20, will return kickoffs against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Colts released David Reed earlier this week.

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the injured players.

Exit Reed, enter Rainey at kick returner

November, 27, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – The release of receiver/kick returner David Reed on Tuesday has likely opened the door for Chris Rainey to return kicks for the Indianapolis Colts.

Releasing Reed was bound to happen because he was a disaster returning kicks. The Colts are already struggling offensively, and Reed often made it worse by returning kicks from 8 or 9 yards deep in the end zone.

Rainey was inactive against the Arizona Cardinals last weekend, but he’ll likely take over the kick-return role.

Here’s what coach Chuck Pagano said about Rainey, who signed with the team last week, prior to the Arizona game:

“Really everything that we saw on tape when we evaluated him coming out of college and what he did his first year. He’s very explosive for a guy being out for the amount of time that he’s been out. He’s really been amazing, to be honest with you. He’s a great athlete. He’s got tremendous quickness, speed, acceleration, burst, football instincts. Catches everything – punts and kickoffs, catching balls out of the backfield, running the card team, the look team for us. Didn’t miss a beat. It looked like he’d been playing for somebody for the last whatever, so he looked good.”

Here are the other moves the Colts made Tuesday:
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Here are four storylines (outside of the Chuck Pagano-Bruce Arians reunion) to pay attention to in Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts-Arizona Cardinals.

Start fast: This has been an area of concern for the Colts most of the season. It’s really been a problem the past three games. They’ve been outscored 66-9 in the first half of their past three games. Yes, the Colts won two of those games, but relying on a strong second half isn’t the right way to go about things, especially since that approach won’t work in the playoffs. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton scripts the first 15-20 plays. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 49-37 in the first half of their current three-game winning streak. The Colts don’t have the offensive weapons outside of quarterback Andrew Luck and receiver T.Y. Hilton to come back against a team like the Cardinals, who have two dangerous receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.

Pressure Palmer: Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 419 yards against Jacksonville on Nov. 17. He threw for that many yards because the Jaguars allowed him to sit back in the pocket and pick them apart. Put pressure on Palmer and it’s a different game. Memo to Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, the league leader in sacks: The Cardinals have an atrocious offensive line. Palmer has been sacked 27 times and he’s thrown 15 interceptions. The Colts will be without starting linebacker Erik Walden (suspended) and cornerback Greg Toler (groin) on defense.

Play with urgency: Win Sunday and the Colts will be able to wrap up their first AFC South title since 2010 with a victory over the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 1. The Colts will likely still win the division if they stumble against the Cardinals, but the sooner they win it, the better their odds will be to get one of the top two seeds -- likely the second seed -- and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Chris Rainey: The David Reed experiment at returning kicks has to stop at some point, right? Reed has been more of a disaster than an impact player in that area this season. Reed is 12th in the league in kickoff returns at 23.8 yards, but what’s not accounted for is how many times he’s attempted to return kicks 7 or 8 yards deep in the end zone. So why not give Rainey, who the Colts signed last week, a shot? He possibly can’t do any worse. Pagano said late last week that no decision had been on if Rainey will be active for the game. But Rainey did have a good first week of practice. “He’s very explosive for a guy being out for the amount of time that he’s been out,” Pagano said. He’s really been amazing, to be honest with you. He’s a great athlete. He’s got tremendous quickness, speed, acceleration, burst, football instincts. Catches everything -- punts and kickoffs, catching balls out of the backfield, running the card team, the look team for us. Didn’t miss a beat. It looked like he’d been playing for somebody for the last whatever, so he looked good.”

Mailbag: Can Fleener continue to play well?

November, 23, 2013

Colts taking a risk in signing Rainey

November, 20, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Running back Chris Rainey had to quit watching the NFL on television. He was driving himself crazy sitting on his couch watching others play, something that he thought me may never get to do again.

Rainey waited, waited and waited some more for his agent to call and tell him a team was interested.

The 2012 fifth-round pick worked out for the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday and was on the practice field with them Wednesday afternoon after they signed him to a contract.

"Eleven months is a long time," Rainey said about not playing. "I'm just glad to be back."

Rainey comes to Indianapolis with some baggage accrued in his short time in the NFL. It's the type of baggage you think would scare the Colts off.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who drafted Rainey, released him during the offseason after he was accused of slapping his girlfriend. Rainey was also ticketed for driving with a suspended license and given a citation for "defiant trespass" at a racetrack casino last year, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Colts appeared to be setting a standard when they released safety John Boyett after he was arrested at a downtown Indianapolis bar in early September.

But now, the Colts are back to giving players a second chance. They re-signed tight end Weslye Saunders on Oct. 29 after he was suspended eight games for a season violation of the league's performance-enhancing substance policy. Receiver LaVon Brazill was suspended the first four games this season for violating the league's substance abuse policy for the second time. Receiver Da'Rick Rogers had substance abuse violations while in college.

"We sat [Rainey] down, spent a lot of time with him, obviously," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He understands what the expectations are. We feel like he's learned from his mistakes and they're behind him. He understands what it means to wear the horseshoe and [we] fully expect Chris to take advantage of this opportunity."

Rainey said the past humbled him. The Colts hope that's the case because their focus needs to strictly be on getting the highest seed possible for the playoffs.

"I'm moving forward and staying positive," Rainey said. "I know people are going to think something, but they don't know me. People who know me, know me. I can't do [anything] about it."

What Rainey's impact will be on the Colts is yet to be determined. He could be cut next week when linebacker Erik Walden returns from his one-game suspension. He could get his shot returning kicks because David Reed hasn't proved he deserves to keep the job.

Rainey has returned 39 kicks for 1,035 yards, an average of 26.5 yards per return. Reed has 20 returns for 475 yards this season.

"I know I'm a playmaker," Rainey said. "I came to help the team win. Wherever they put me at, I'll be ready."