INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts 3rd round rookie cornerback D'Joun Smith was placed on injured reserve-designated to return with a knee injury after the season opener against the Bills, but is getting close to the dates he's eligible to return. Also known as "short-term IR", Smith is not eligible to play until week 11 at Atlanta but is eligible to begin practicing again next Friday, October 30th (six weeks from the date he was placed on IR-designated to return).
"According to our docs and trainers, he's ahead of schedule," said Head Coach Chuck Pagano Wednesday. "He's doing a great job staying engaged."
Smith may be rehabbing, but he's still involved, which is very important for a rookie.
"He's in every single meeting. He's at practice," said Pagano. "Really, really great kid, obviously. He knows football. He's a football junkie."
Pagano would know as a former defensive backs coach.
"We're hopeful he'll be back after the bye and get him back on the field," said Pagano. "That's what we're shooting for."
Smith being placed on "short-term IR" on September 18th was the start of a long list of roster moves at corner due to injuries.
In the weeks since Smith went down, the Colts also lost cornerbacks Sheldon Price and Jalil Brown for the season after each was placed on Injured Reserve. Four other players had been signed to the active roster since the start of the season just at cornerback (Eric Patterson, Josh Thomas, Shaun Prater, and Tony Carter) after injuries to Smith, starter Greg Toler (neck, now healthy), and nickelback Darius Butler (hip, now healthy).
The Colts currently have five cornerbacks on the roster: Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Darius Butler, Josh Thomas, and Tony Carter.