INDIANAPOLIS – Colts team buses arrived back in Indianapolis early Friday morning after a 27-10 setback at Cincinnati concluded preseason work.
Players and coaches attended a function Friday, and the Colts are like 31 other teams that must make 22 roster moves by Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (ET) to conform to the mandated regular-season size of 53 performers.
"We're still evaluating things at this point, so I don't think anything's going to happen today," said Pagano. "It'll probably happen tomorrow at some point. I don't rule out anything, but I think we're shooting for tomorrow."
Indianapolis sat about 25 players for Thursday's game. A number were veterans without injury concerns, while some were players a bit nicked up.
Those would be LaVon Brazill, Joe Lefeged, Kelvin Sheppard, Anthony Castonzo, Mike McGlynn, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Fili Moala.
Pagano said the ankle Kavell Conner hurt at Cincinnati would mean "a couple weeks." Emmett Cleary might be affected the same duration with an ankle problem. David Reed (concussion) and Daxton Swanson (hamstring) also were hurt Thursday.
Pagano quipped when batting down a rumor of a possible trade involving Conner.
"That's actually the first I've heard of that, but I'd be lying to you if I didn't say the phone lines in probably all 32 organizations ain't burning up," said Pagano. "It's just the nature of the business and the time of year that we're in.
"After last night, I wouldn't be shocked to see my name on the trading block. I've got (Colts radio voice) Bob Lamey sitting here. I've fielded phone calls for Bob as good as he is, but we're not going to do it. It's just part of the landscape, part of the time of the year."
A former high school defensive back who played under his father, Sam, in Colorado, Pagano reached collegiate ball before the end of the line.
Through that background and nearly 30 years in coaching, he is aware acutely of the emotions of this time of year as well as for the dreams that are at stake and the sacrifices spent to reach this moment.
Ryan Grigson is familiar as well, having been drafted by Cincinnati after a career at Purdue, then exiting the professional playing field a short time later.
Both Grigson and Pagano built the Colts to this point and have to make difficult decisions.
"It's really tough because over a short period of time, it doesn't take long to build relationships with all these players. Coaches do," said Pagano. "Players in the locker room, they become their family.
"It's extremely hard, and it's an opportunity of a lifetime for a lot of them. They've probably been dreaming about this opportunity their whole life. For some of them, they're going to get some disappointing news."
Pagano was quick to point out news delivered on this weekend across the NFL may not be lethal in career terms. Players might return. They might also catch that dream in another locale.
"Everybody's going to have to give disappointing news across the league over the next (few hours)," said Pagano. "Does that mean their NFL career and the dream is over? No.
"What you put out on the field the last three weeks, you're not only trying to make our club, you're trying to make 31 other clubs. Everyone is being evaluated."
Everyone, except Bob Lamey.
ROSTER MOVE -- The Colts waived cornerback Teddy Williams from injured reserve with an injury settlement.