5 Takeaways From Colts' Initial 53-Man Roster: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line Depth Stand Out

The Colts trimmed their active roster to 53 players on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know about the initial 53-man roster. 

1. It's initial.

Tackle Eric Fisher, center Ryan Kelly, wide receiver Zach Pascal and quarterback Carson Wentz are on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and can be added to the Colts' 53-man roster when they are activated. 

And there may be additional roster spots opening up in the coming days depending on if the Colts opt to place anyone on injured reserve. To be able to activate a player off injured reserve during the season, a player must be on the active roster as of 4 p.m. Tuesday (players placed on injured reserve prior to Tuesday, like tackle Sam Tevi, are out for the season).

2. The Colts' depth at wide receiver and defensive line is evident.

Two of the most competitive positions during training camp saw a number of players who stood out make the initial roster. 

At wide receiver, special teams ace Ashton Dulin made it along with the big-bodied Dezmon Patmon and Mike Strachan. The Colts' receiver depth will be tested early in the season with Hilton expected to miss some games early in the season — "We don't know exactly how many," head coach Frank Reich said on Sunday. 

And on the defensive line, the Colts kept 11 players, including 2020 practice squad member Chris Williams. Brian Baker's group had a tremendous training camp across the board and will look to carry over that momentum into the regular season. 

"I want people, when they see us on the film, say holy cow these guys play fast, they run sideline to sideline, they're up the field, they're knocking guys back, they're pursuing to the ball, they're getting the ball out and it's energy every snap," Baker said. "And I want that frickin' offensive line, when they see us on film, understand they gotta strap the chinstrap up and they gotta do it for 60 minutes. Alright. And that still ain't going to be enough. That's the tempo, that's how we want to play up front. That's the personality that we're trying to get these guys to go to." 

3. Could the streak end?

The Colts have carried an undrafted rookie on their Week 1 active roster for each of the last 22 seasons, but in waiving wide receivers Tarik Black and Tyler Vaughns, running back Deon Jackson and linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi, the Colts do not have a 2021 undrafted free agent on their initial 53-man roster. 

With a week and a half between now and Sept. 12's curtain-lifter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lucas Oil Stadium, that could always change. But for now, the streak may come to an end. 

4. On the 2021 draft class…

Defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list as he works his way back from an Achilles' injury suffered training for the Senior Bowl in January. He remains with the Colts but is not on the active roster; safety Shawn Davis, the fifth-round pick from Florida, was the only 2021 draft pick to be waived. 

Davis missed time at the start of training camp with an injury, which defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said Monday set him back. 

"I think that hurt him a little bit," Eberflus said. "He's learning our way, how to do things. I think that takes time in terms of our hustle, our intensity, taking it away and being smart, those things that we covet. So he's a work in progress and he's working that way."

Defensive end Kwity Paye, tight end Kylen Granson, quarterback Sam Ehlinger, wide receiver Mike Strachan and offensive lineman Will Fries all made the initial 53-man roster. 

5. The Colts added O-line depth.

The Colts on Tuesday traded a 2022 sixth round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for tackle Matt Pryor and a 2022 seventh round pick.

Pryor, a 2018 sixth round pick, has starting experience at left tackle, right tackle and right guard. The 6-foot-7, 332 pound Pryor appeared in 27 games for the Eagles in 2019 and 2020. 

"Feel like Matt can come in here – obviously he's had some exposure to what we do being with Nick (Sirianni) there," Reich said. "6-7, 3-some, he's a big man, strong. Feel like he can add some depth and help us out."

Get your first look at the Indianapolis Colts initial 53-man roster.

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