Javarris James Rejoins Colts Backfield after Wild Week
INDIANAPOLIS – If Javarris James didn't know before, he learned this week.
When you're a young player trying to make it in the NFL, you stay ready and sometimes, you go where the next job takes you. And sometimes, things happen really, really fast.
James, a rookie running back and the cousin of Edgerrin James – the Colts' all-time leading rusher –signed with the Colts Thursday morning from the Washington Redskins' practice squad, not only adding depth to the position, but capping a whirlwind week for James.
On Monday, he was on the New England Patriots' practice squad. On Tuesday, the Patriots released him.
On Wednesday, he was on the Redskins' practice squad.
On Thursday, he joined the Colts' 53-player roster.
"I went to sleep a Patriot, woke up a Redskin and went to sleep a Colt," James said with a laugh as the Colts (2-2) prepared to play the Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) – the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team – at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
"It came out of the blue. I had just gotten out of practice when they called me. I was excited. I'm just happy to be back. Whatever role I have to play, I'm just going to make sure I give 100 percent."
James, who – like Edgerrin James – played collegiately at the University of Miami, then signed with the Colts shortly after the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent the off-season, training camp and preseason with the Colts before being released late in the preseason.
Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said James' knowledge of the offense from the off-season will be a positive.
"He was immersed in it for a number of months," Caldwell said. "It should help him in terms of recall."
James said there was an immediate familiarity with the offense.
"I was here for a while," James said. "So, once I got back in the (play)book and started looking at things, it all started coming back to me. There are some new things going on that I'm happy to learn, but it's not going to be like when I first got here. That's the advantage to myself. . . .
"You just have to take advantage of any opunity you get, so that's what I'm trying to do."
James, who rushed for 2,162 yards and 18 touchdowns in four seasons at Miami, spent the first four games of the season on the Patriots' practice squad before being released Tuesday. He said he signed with the Redskins about an hour and a half after his release, then after practicing with the Redskins Wednesday said he learned of the Colts' interest.
"I've been traveling," James said with a laugh. "The good thing about it was I didn't have to sit home and wait on a call. They just called and gave me my flight information. My agent hadn't told me that the Colts had brought me up. They called me and were asking for my flight information. I didn't know what they were talking about. That's when they told me. I was in my hotel room. I was excited, man."
James said Edgerrin James actually knew of the signing before he did, something Javarris said he learned when he phoned his father to tell him the news.
"He told me Edgerrin had just talked to him," James said. "He (Edgerrin) has connections, I guess."
The Colts earlier this week placed running back/kick returner Devin Moore on injured reserve.
"Certainly, it's a numbers issue," Caldwell said of James' signing. "A numbers issue is usually caused by some concern we have, so we're just trying to make sure we're in a position to cover ourselves if we have any difficulties."
Caldwell on Thursday also addressed several issues entering Sunday's game against the Chiefs, including:
• Kick returner. The Colts on Wednesday signed Kenny Moore to potentially handle the duties, and Caldwell said it's possible he could play each return role. "He certainly has the ability to do so, but we'll see," Caldwell said. Caldwell said veteran corner Justin Tryon also could be a factor in the role. "Right now, it's up in the air," Caldwell said. "That's what practice is for." Caldwell said Moore's first practice Wednesday was "fine." "You can't expect him to come in and have a total grasp of everything we do, but he did well his first day," Caldwell said.
• Safety. With Melvin Bullitt out for the season and with Bob Sanders currently out with a biceps injury, Caldwell said it's still uncertain who will start alongside Antoine Bethea at the position Sunday. The Colts have four safeties other than Bethea on the roster: rookie Brandon King, veteran DaJuan Morgan, rookie free-agent Mike Newton and six-year veteran Aaron Francisco. "Wednesday is a big work day and Thursday is a big work day," Caldwell said. "Until you get through Friday, you really are still in the evaluative stages. We do have a sense, because the guys have been here. It's not like it's a complete toss-up. We understand there's a ranking order. We're just confirming some things."
• The pass blocking ability of running back Joseph Addai. "He's excellent," Caldwell said. "You saw some great examples, obviously, over the weekend. That's certainly a big part of what we do. You have to be able to do more than one thing. You cannot be a one-dimensional player and play back there in our backfield."