Brandon Archer was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Wednesday. He's split time this season between the two squads, luckily clearing waivers several times for the Colts to put him back on the practice squad. With only four games left on the schedule, it looks promising for Archer to finish the season on the regular roster.
A roster spot was available due to the fact that Indianapolis placed offensive tackle Daniel Federkeil on injured reserve.
Not surprisingly, the Colts filled Archer's practice squad spot by signing an offensive lineman, center Pat Ross.
Ross played collegiately at Boston College, attended the 2006 Scouting Combine and was eventually signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. Since Seattle was rich at the position, they kept Ross on their practice squad until Sept. 7, when they reached an injury settlement with him and placed him on waivers.
He was picked up by the Patriots — possibly because he shares the same position and alma mater as current center Dan Koppen — before eventually being released on Oct. 29.
Indianapolis has tended to shuffle players back and forth from the practice squad to the regular roster so far this season, and have kept a fairly deep pool of talent to pull from on hand. A number of players have been called up due to injuries.
Brandon Archer in preseason action
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
One of the units that has been hit hardest by injury this year has been the offensive line, so it makes sense that the Colts would keep at least two offensive linemen in reserve, ready to be called into action.
A three-year starter at Boston College, Ross is certainly more accomplished as a run blocker than he is in pass protection. At 6 feet, 4 inches, 295 pounds, he already appears, from pictures, to have reached maximum density, and is probably too light to play either guard position.
He needs to spend some time in the weight room, though it seems hard to believe that he'll suddenly make his way there after not getting stronger in the last year and a half on the practice squad for other teams. At the 2006 Combine, he registered a fairly lackluster showing of 23 bench presses and it certainly doesn't appear that he has improved upon that number since.
The biggest factor to consider is his quickness. Ross ran a 4.99 40 at the Combine, but also scored well in the 10-yard dash (1.72), the 20-yard dash (2.90), and especially the short shuttle (4.50).
If a player can run the short shuttle in a time that is about half a second faster than their 40, that means they have quick feet and excellent lateral movement; provided, of course, that they don't run the 40 in 5.5 or 6 seconds.
He seems to be a better fit for an offense that asks its interior linemen to do more pulling and trapping than the Colts do, but there's also the consideration that Jeff Saturday doesn't seem to be going anywhere for the foreseeable future. For right now, he's an intriguing prospect at a position of need. When someone moves from the practice squad to the regular roster, it's generally because of injuries to several key players in a particular unit. So for the Colts' sake, let's hope he doesn't get called up.