INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts’ final cutdown from 90 to 53 players begins next weekend, but the team is already making some moves.
The Colts on Sunday traded linebacker Antonio Morrison to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for cornerback Lenzy Pipkins.
Pipkins, 24, signed with the Packers last May as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State, and he became one of three undrafted rookies to make the team’s Week 1 roster in 2017, joining linebacker Chris Odom and punter Justin Vogel.
Pipkins, in all, played in 12 games during his rookie season in 2017, starting one, and was a contributor both on defense and on special teams. He posted 17 tackles (13 solo), including a tackle for a loss, and a pass defensed for the Packers’ defense, and added one special teams stop.
Pipkins saved his best performance of the season for the Packers’ Week 6 game against their division rival Minnesota Vikings, collecting a career-best eight tackles, including a tackle for a loss, bringing down running back Jerick McKinnon for a loss of six yards on a swing pass from quarterback Case Keenum.
He had five tackles and a pass defensed in his first-career start Week 17 against the Detroit Lions. Starting at right cornerback in place of an injured Damarious Randall, Pipkins broke up a deep pass on third down from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Kenny Golladay on Detroit’s opening series to force a punt.
Pipkins — who has collected eight tackles and a pass defensed through the Packers’ three preseason games so far — could compete right away for playing time in the Colts’ secondary. Two of the team’s primary cornerbacks — Nate Hairston (hamstring) and Quincy Wilson (hand) — suffered injuries in practice last week and did not play in Saturday’s third preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Morrison, meanwhile, was a fourth-round (125th-overall) selection by the Colts in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Florida. In his two seasons with the Colts, Morrison played in 31 games (with 19 starts) and posted 154 tackles (91 solo) — six for a loss — and had one pass defensed.
In 2017, Morrison started all 15 games he played at inside linebacker and compiled a team-best 108 tackles (three for a loss) and knocked down one pass.
With the Colts converting to a 4-3 defense this year under new coordinator Matt Eberflus, Morrison had been moved over to a role as a reserve SAM linebacker. He had three tackles in the Colts’ three preseason games this year.