INDIANAPOLIS — Robert Turbin is officially back.
The Indianapolis Colts running back, who was suspended the first four weeks of the season, was brought back to the team’s active roster on Tuesday.
The Colts on Thursday also announced they have elevated cornerback Lenzy Pipkins and linebacker Skai Moore to the active roster from the practice squad.
In corresponding moves, the team waived defensive ends Tarell Basham and Al-Quadin Muhammad.
With this week being a short week — the Colts take on the New England Patriots on Thursday night — it’s not yet known what role, if any, Turbin will be able to play in that game with limited recent practice and walkthrough work. But he told reporters this week that he’s “ready to roll” regardless.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen just yet, but whatever I am asked to do, I’ll be ready to do,” he said.
A seventh-year NFL veteran, Turbin has notched 351 career rushing attempts for 1,344 yards and nine touchdowns, while adding 85 receptions for 685 yards and another three scores in his six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and the Colts.
He signed with Indianapolis as a free agent in March 2016, and spent the last couple seasons carving a role as one of the top third-down running backs in the league, leading the NFL in 3rd-and-1 conversion percentage during that time frame (7-for-7).
Turbin — who suffered a season-ending elbow injury Week 6 against the Tennessee Titans last year — entered the 2018 season hoping to take on an even bigger role in a young backfield that has the likes of second-year back Marlon Mack and two rookies in Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. But Turbin learned before the start of training camp that he was going to be suspended the first four games of the regular season after testing positive for a banned substance, so he took on a more limited role during camp and the preseason.
Turbin said it’s been difficult not being around the team the last month, but has tried to turn the experience into a positive.
“I try to find the positive in everything,” Turbin said. “I got a chance to spend some time with my family and reconnect with some people that may have got a little bit distant over the years and things like that. Just try to keep a positive mindset and maybe work on some things that I noticed during training camp that maybe a little bit deficient in my game. So because of that I feel a lot better coming in.”
Now back on the roster, it’s unknown just what kind of role Turbin will play for the Colts’ offense, especially in the short-term.
He said he’s stayed on top of his workouts, but there’s nothing compared to being in actual “football shape.”
Colts head coach Frank Reich said if Turbin were to play against the Patriots, it’d likely have to be in more of a limited role.
“A very specific role that you feel like that player could fill and get five or 10 plays and take a little bit of the load,” Reich continued. “Or it could be something that that guy does specifically really well, and you know he does really well so, ‘Hey, let’s at least use him for that,’ if something like that comes up.”
Pipkins, meanwhile, has been moved to and from the Colts' active roster and practice squad a couple times already this season. He was on the active roster, but inactive, for Indy's Week 2 game against the Washington Redskins.
Pipkins helps fill a need at cornerback, which is hit hard by injuries heading into tonight's game. Both Kenny Moore II and Quincy Wilson are in the concussion protocol, while Nate Hairston is questionable with an ankle injury.
Skai Moore, meanwhile, has played in three games (one start) for Indianapolis this season. The 2018 undrafted free agent out of South Carolina has two tackles on the year. Moore helps provide depth at linebacker, where starter Darius Leonard is questionable Thursday night with an ankle injury.