Colts Sign Labinjo, Release Davis

One former Big Ten player was added to the Colts practice squad at the expense of another while the team bolstered its linebacker depth.

With Keith O'Neil still trying to bounce back from a disclocated shoulder and both Cato June (groin/knee) and Gary Brackett (concussion) banged up a bit, the Colts added former Michigan State linebacker Mike Labinjo to the team on Wednesday. He joins former Lions draft pick Jonathan Goddard as a member of the Colts practice squad.

To make room for Labinjo, rookie running back and former 7th-round draft pick Anthony Davis was released.

The Colts are trying to get their offense prepared for the Texans 3-4 defense, but they found themselves a bit short-handed at the linebacker position. In addition to Labinjo's signing, the Colts also put fifth-round draft pick Tyjuan Hagler on the practice field for the first time, putting the wheels in motion for him to be activated. Once a player begins to practice after coming off the PUP list, the team has three weeks to decide to activate him to the roster or reserve him for the balance of the year. Hagler has been learning the middle linebacker spot while waiting to come off of the PUP list.

Labinjo is also an experienced middle linebacker. He was Jeremiah Trotter's backup in Philadelphia. He worked out with the team for the first time on Wednesday.

"It was good to get him in," said head coach Tony Dungy. "We liked him coming out of school. We'll get a chance to work with him."

The 6'1, 255-pound linebacker was originally recruited as a running back by Michigan State, but was converted to defensive end. Ant then to linebacker. He spent his junior year playing in the middle, but he moved to strongside his senior year. He finished his career at Michigan State with 220 tackles, 11 sacks, and four INTs.

Labinjo earned a spot on the Eagles' practice squad in 2004 and was activated to the full roster in week fifteen.

As Trotter's backup, he ended up as the starter for the Eagles' season opener against the Falcons when Trotter was ejected prior to the game for a scuffle with a Falcons player. Labinjo registered three tackles in the game.


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