The Colts have been without the services of starting safety Bob Sanders for most of the season as he's tried to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery, and for the last few weeks they've missed reserve Matt Giordano as well. They also took a major hit at the position when they lost Mike Doss for the season due to a torn ACL.
As a result, they've swapped nickel back Marlin Jackson to the safety position for two of the last three games, and he could line up there again this week if Sanders can't return against the Cowboys.
This will be Dennis Davis' third practice squad assignment since completing his collegiate career at Georgia Tech. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Raiders following this year's NFL draft, Davis was released at the end of August. He was then signed to the New York Giants' practice squad for a week at the end of October.
Davis was one of the fastest players on a Georgia Tech defense that was
ranked in the top 25 nationally last season. He made three interceptions during
the year after being granted a medical hardship waiver that allowed him to play
a fifth season. Just three games into the 2004 season, he had his second shoulder surgery within an 18-month stretch -- one on each shoulder --
that ended what would have been his fourth season. The pair of surgeries likely lowered his stock amongst NFL teams heading into the 2006 draft, despite a solid performance in 2006 and his speed.
Following Davis' second shoulder surgery, which was a result of having problems with dislocating his shoulder, his head coach Chan Gailey told the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, "It would have been easy for him to let his career slip away, but he didn't let that happen. I don't think he's lost anything. If anything, he is stronger than he could have been (without the surgery)."
He was able to allay some fears by starting in every Georgia Tech game in 2005 without further injury problems. But the 6-foot tall, 185-pound defensive back is only a one-season starter, so that didn't help his NFL stock either. He was the nickel back in 2003 and primarily played special teams his first two seasons, including some spot duty as a kick returner. The highlight of his college career was undoubtedly his interception in the closing two minutes against the then No. 3 ranked team in the country, the Miami Hurricanes who had driven to Georgia Tech's 17-yard line, sealing the upset 14-10 win for the Yellow Jackets.
Davis finished his collegiate career with 72 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, 5 interceptions and 9 passes defensed. He averaged 15.7 yards per kick return on 7 attempts in 2003. For in-depth analysis on Davis' skills and talents, and how he fits with the Colts, Insiders should watch for Jerry Langton's upcoming Colt Scout analysis.