With the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts have shored up their lineup with key additions such as Rock Ya-Sin, Ben Banogu, and Parris Campbell. Expect competition for roster spots to intensify as the weeks go by.
On that note, some Colts players are now on the roster bubble and their NFL careers in Indy are hanging by a thread. It certainly won’t be fun for Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard to make these roster cuts. Unfortunately, it’s part of the job.
As for our criteria, we will simply include Colts players who have precarious situations as of this writing.
Jordan Wilkins, Running Back
Jordan Wilkins showed glimpses of potential during his rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. His agility helped Indy during crucial third-down situations.
However, the addition of veteran running back Spencer Ware changes things. With the way things are shaping up, the Colts’ regular season rotation will feature Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Ware.
Expect Wilkins to fight tooth and nail for that final running back spot on the Colts roster.
Daurice Fountain, Wide Receiver
It seems Daurice Fountain, the Colts’ fifth-round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is also on the bubble.
Indianapolis fortified its receiving corps with the additions of Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell this offseason. T.Y. Hilton remains the undisputed first option for quarterback Andrew Luck.
That means Fountain will compete for one of two possible wide receiver spots in 2019. He will slug it out with Chester Rogers, Deon Cain, Ashton Dulin, Penny Hart, Krishawn Hogan, Steve Ishmael, Jordan Veasy, Marcus Johnson, and Zach Pascal.
J’Marcus Webb, Offensive Tackle
It seems Le’Raven Clark is the most suitable backup for Anthony Castonzo at left tackle for the Colts. For his part, J’Marcus Webb’s sense of urgency increased when Indianapolis selected the Utah Utes’ Jackson Barton from the draft pool last month.
While the Colts re-signed Webb to a one-year contract during the offseason, he will still compete for a roster spot in the 2019 campaign.
Webb’s 2018 season came to a premature end after he injured his hamstring chasing Jack Doyle’s fumble in the 34-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. If Webb doesn’t get it together, that could be the last time we see him wear the Horseshoe.
Matthew Adams, Linebacker
Based on the outcome of the 2019 NFL Draft, it was clear Ballard and Co. wanted to shore up Indy’s pass rush. The Colts selected three linebackers: Ben Banogu, Bobby Okereke, and E.J. Speed.
With that in mind, it’s likely Matthew Adams has relinquished his role as the Colts’ No. 3 linebacker behind Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker.
Adams, who recorded 33 tackles and two quarterback hits in 2018, could wind up with the special teams unit this season if he loses out in the linebacker roster spot competition.
Nate Hairston, Cornerback
Colts fans expected Nate Hairston to build on his solid rookie campaign in 2017.
Instead, he slowly disappeared from the limelight. After starting seven of Indy’s first eight regular season games in 2018, he played mainly for the special teams unit from there on out.
The Colts benched Hairston after a defensive breakdown against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8. Since then, Quincy Wilson took over as the third cornerback behind Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir. Hairston wound up with 30 tackles and a pass breakup last season.
To compound Hairston’s woes, the Colts drafted defensive backs Rock Ya-Sin and Marvell Tell last month. Hairston is officially skating on thin ice.
If Hairston wants to salvage his career in Indianapolis, he must go all out in training camp. Otherwise, he could find himself playing elsewhere in 2019.