INDIANAPOLIS — With two key players officially ruled out at inside linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, the team on Saturday made a move to aid the position.
The Colts signed inside linebacker Darnell Sankey from their practice squad, and in a corresponding move, waived wide receiver Matt Hazel.
Sankey — 6-2, 250 pounds — was signed by the Colts as a free agent on Aug. 23 and participated in the team's training camp before being waived during final cuts on Sept. 2. He was signed to the Colts' practice squad on Sept. 3.
Sankey, who was with the Minnesota Vikings for the first two preseason games this year, played in the Colts' final two preseason contests, totaling 10 tackles — a figure that tied for the second most for any Colts defender the entire preseason — and also logging a special teams stop.
The Sacramento State product is yet to play in an NFL regular season game. He spent time on the practice squads of the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders as a rookie in 2016.
Sankey's signing gives the Colts some needed depth at the inside linebacker position tomorrow against the Cardinals, when they will be without starter Antonio Morrison (elbow) and key backup and special teamer Anthony Walker (hamstring). Indianapolis now has inside linebackers Jon Bostic, Jeremiah George, Sean Spence and Sankey available against Arizona.
Hazel, 6-1, 195 pounds, was claimed off waivers by the Colts on Sept. 3 after he was waived by the Washington Redskins the previous day. He earned his first-career reception for one yard last Sunday in Indianapolis' 2017 season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, and has appeared in six career games (one start) in his time with the Colts, Redskins (2016), Buffalo Bills (2016) and Miami Dolphins (2014-15).
Hazel was originally selected by the Dolphins in the sixth round (190th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Coastal Carolina.