The Buzz: Colts Work Out Second DB

ColtPower shares with our Insiders the identity of the veteran defensive back who worked out for the Colts this week who also has experience as a returns specialist...

In addition to former Bucs safety Donte Nicholson, the Colts also worked out former Eagle and Ram safety J.R. Reed this week in case they continue to have problems keeping a full complement of safeties on the roster.

The 5-foot-11, 202-lb safety was a fourth-round selection by Philadelphia in the 2004 draft who has an amazing comeback story. During his college years, he garnered a lot of attention with his big-play ability, leading the nation in kickoff return average (31.7 yards per return) at South Florida in 2003 and scoring touchdowns on kickoff returns, interceptions and fumble recoveries.

A smart and ferocious player, Reed even gained the attention of Eagles fans during his rookie year with his special teams work and even some time on defense as the season progressed and into the playoffs that year. He finished the year with 24 tackles during the regular season.

But following the Super Bowl, he was involved in a freak accident.  While running from a dog that was chasing him, Reed tried to jump a fence near his home, and caught the back of his knee on a spike on the fence. He was left hanging upside down on the fence by his leg.

"I was hanging, and I tried to push off once -- I think this is what hurt me more -- and my hand slipped, because it was my left arm and it was my weak arm and it slipped underneath me so I fell deeper into my leg on the spike," he explained earlier this year at the Eagles official website. "Somehow, with my weak arm, I pushed myself off and I kind of fell backwards.

"I got up and tried to run, but my foot wouldn't work and I just fell right on the concrete. I kind of dragged myself to the street. I don't know how."

Reed had surgery to reattach his calf muscle to the bone, but they couldn't do much about the severed peroneal nerve that controls the ability to flex your foot. Doctors told him he was finished playing football. He spent weeks in bed, and more than a year working to rehab his leg, missing the 2005 season on the injured reserve list. He tried four or five different braces -- to help provide the spring action for his foot since he couldn't do that for himself anymore -- before finding one that would provide him with the ability to run well again. Head coach Andy Reid said that with the brace, Reed actually ran better than he could walk when he returned to the team earlier this year. Reed still has a noticeable limp when walking.

"I guess God just wants me to run, not walk," Reed told the St. Petersburg Times back in August.

The Eagles had four other candidates competing for their returns specialist positions, and eventually Reed was released in the final round of cuts. The Rams signed him to their roster within days and he was on their active gameday roster for five of the ten weeks, but he was just recently released on November 14th.

So where does Reed fit into the Colts' plans? ColtPower's Jerry Langton will tell you more about Reed's abilities and why the Colts are taking a look at him in a Colt Scout feature that we'll be publishing Friday morning.


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