When he arrived at Indianapolis Colts training camp, nose tackle Josh Chapman assured he wasn't worried about his future, that it would take care of itself.
Now he might not have much of an NFL future after Chapman was among the Colts' Saturday roster cuts to get down to the league-mandated 53 players.
A 15-game starter a year ago, his exodus is probably the biggest surprise although it wasn't entirely unexpected. Chapman made only one tackle in three preseason games, then played the bulk of the second half and finished Thursday's preseason finale. The guy next to him at game's end, defensive tackle Montori Hughes, was also cut. It's rarely a good sign when a guy is playing with third-stringers at the end of preseason.
When Chapman was drafted in the fifth round in 2012, general manager Ryan Grigson was ecstatic the Alabama run-stuffer was still on the board, which was attributed to the defender needing knee surgery after his final college season. Chapman lost his rookie year to rehabilitation. He appeared in 13 games in 2013, but didn't start, the explanation being he was still adjusting to the NFL and needed to develop his technique.
Last season, he started 15 of 16 games and was credited by the team with 30 tackles. But the Colts' run defense was porous in the playoffs against the New England Patriots, and addressing that need became more of a priority. Grigson said in an August radio interview that Chapman needed to prove he could be more consistent. Evidently, that didn't happen.
Another eyebrow raise on the list was wide receiver Duron Carter, the son of Hall of Famer Cris Carter. Reportedly coveted by several NFL teams after a stint in the Canadian Football League, Carter shined in camp but that play didn't translate to preseason games. He dropped passes early on, played tentative at times and often needed to be told on the field where to line up.
He had his best game in Thursday's preseason finale with five catches for 85 yards, but the Colts instead decided to stick with fourth-year pro Griff Whalen as a No. 5 wide receiver.
While many feared the worst for running back Vick Ballard after he tweaked his hamstring Thursday in another injury setback, the Colts decided to keep him at least for now. That rookie running back Tyler Varga also made the squad means the Colts are carrying five running backs, an unexpectedly high number. Second-year pro Zurlon Tipton was cut, but he could be re-signed to the practice squad, where he spent much of his rookie season.
Defensive tackle Arthur Jones and linebacker Junior Sylvestre were placed on injured reserve due to ankle injuries. Jones, a key defensive cog who signed a five-year, $33-million contract last year, underwent surgery on Friday. Neither player was designated to return, so their seasons are finished before they could begin.
The other Colts cuts were: offensive guard David Arkin, wide receiver Vincent Brown, outside linebacker Daniel Adongo, quarterback Bryan Bennett, wide receiver Quan Bray, cornerback Chance Casey, inside linebacker Carlos Fields, offensive tackle Ulrick John, outside linebacker Cam Johnson, safety Dewey McDonald, tight end Sean McGrath, inside linebacker Henoc Muamba, offensive guard Kitt O'Brien, cornerback Eric Patterson, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, tight end Erik Swoope and cornerback Ramon Taylor.
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