Indianapolis Colts: 5 Players Who Will Be Toughest to Cut

Todd SmithContributor IAugust 26, 2012

Indianapolis Colts: 5 Players Who Will Be Toughest to Cut

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    Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, head coach Chuck Pagano and their team are scouring their roster, the waiver wire and potential trade targets for the best 53 players for their team in 2012. Grigson will be aggressive, as he demonstrated by pulling the trigger on a trade for former Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis, via ESPN. Unfortunately for those players on the roster bubble, that means he won't hesitate to make tough cuts.

    While it will be relatively easy for the team to pare the roster to 75 by Monday afternoon, as required by league rules, it won't be as easy getting down to 53 next week. At this point, it's pure speculation to guess who will remain standing when the Colts announce their final roster thanks largely to the number of injuries. Inevitably some fan favorites, veterans and players seen as surefire contributors will be released. 

    Who will they be? Here are five players that will surely be tough to cut. 

Delone Carter

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    Delone Carter's rookie year was filled with ups and downs. While battling fumbling problems, Carter also displayed the ability to bruise between the tackles. He's a crafty back with good size, which should be a perfect match for Bruce Arians' offense, yet he's been buried on the depth chart behind Donald Brown, Vick Ballard and Mewelde Moore. Against the Redskins Saturday, Carter saw no action while the team took a look at Deji Karim instead.

    Perhaps Carter will find his footing this week, but at the moment he appears to be out of favor with the Colts' staff. 

    Odds to make the roster: 3-2

Griff Whalen

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    Griff Whalen has all the trappings of a free-agent find: good hands, a knack for third-down conversions and the kind of toughness Austin Collie made famous. Unfortunately, he's also been injured during much of his time with the team.

    Like Andrew Luck, he's a Stanford product and has displayed an above-average ability to contribute when on the field. He's fighting for a roster spot with Quan Cosby, Kris Adams and Jeremy Ross. Based purely on his contributions so far, he should be a lock to make the roster were it not for his injury.

    Thanks to the injury bug that's devouring the Colts' roster at the moment, it wouldn't shock me if the team takes a gamble and waives Whalen with the hopes they can put him on the practice squad. If they place him on IR, then it's a huge signal that the team believes Whalen will be a big contributor in years to come.

    Odds to make the roster: 3-1

Kris Adams

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    Kris Adams is exactly the kind of receiver Colts fans have dreamed of having on the roster for years. He's 6'3" with deceptive agility, a good deep threat and has the ability to win the jump ball. Many have been impressed with Adams at camp.

    He's also not produced much during the preseason.

    At first glance Adams is a wild card to make the roster due to his physical stature and alluring potential. After a long look, however, it becomes evident that he's simply not polished enough to contribute much. If he makes the roster, it's due to the number of injuries the wide receiving corps have suffered.

    Odds to make the roster: 5-1

Tim Fugger

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    Outside linebacker Tim Fugger should have been a lock to make the roster, but the unpredictable emergence of Jerry Hughes coupled with Fugger's nagging injury has hampered his progress. The Vanderbilt graduate is currently third on the depth chart behind Robert Mathis and Jerry Hughes. On the other side, the Colts figure to keep Dwight Freeney and Mario Addison.

    Unless they decide to keep five outside linebackers, Fugger looks to be headed for waivers. Like Griff Whalen, the Colts would love to place Fugger on their practice squad while he recovers and develops his potential.

    Odds to make the roster: 5-1

Winston Justice: Offensive Tackle

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    When Ryan Grigson acquired Winston Justice from the Philadelphia Eagles, he expected Justice to be an immediate upgrade at right tackle. As it stands, the right side of the offensive line has been dangerously ineffective. Justice was a massive bust in Philadelphia and appears be following that performance up with an encore.

    While Justice has been horrific, the reality is that there are few options for the Colts on the market. They may indeed be stuck with Justice this year.

    Colts fans should take heart in knowing Justice came with a tiny price tag: The Colts and Eagles traded spots in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft as part of the deal.

    Odds to make the roster: 3-2