The Indianapolis Colts have to begin making the tough decisions, and although there are a number of guys that everyone is pulling for, at the end of the day, football is a business, and the best players make the final roster to start the regular season.
The first cuts are approaching quickly, and there are some players that are already standing out in the wrong way. These guys need to turn it around quickly in both practice and in preseason games, particularly the one this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, in order to even have a chance at staying on the roster, if only for a limited time.
I've been at training camp for four different days and I've been able to make my own observations on guys who have done well and guys who've been struggling. Thankfully, there have been others that have provided plenty of notes from the practices that I haven't been able to attend.
Here are a few guys who could be seeing an early exit from training camp in the next few weeks.
Note: Any observations, unless cited, were acquired firsthand.
It seems that the longer training camp goes, the less Delone Carter has impressed.
From the time I've spent up in Anderson, I've seen some bad signs from Carter. The team has tried to throw to him a few times in the passing game, but I've seen him drop a few easy passes. The fact that he's been getting fewer and fewer snaps and is being stuck with the third team is a bad sign for Carter.
The problem with Carter is that he probably would be cut even if he was having a solid camp. The Colts will likely use a three-back rotation with Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard and Donald Brown, leaving Carter as the odd man out. As a short-yardage specialist, he's even more expendable now with the emergence of a fullback in the offense.
There's a chance Carter finds another home in the NFL, but it's quite unlikely he stays in Indy to start the regular season.
The more I watch Montori Hughes in camp, the less I'm impressed.
I understand that guys on the inside of the defensive line are supposed to be big, but Hughes just doesn't look strong going up against the offense. In the one-on-one drills I've seen him in, he's been dominated for the most part, appearing the be unable to get separation or drive back the blocker. Bleacher Report's Kyle Rodriguez was at training camp with me on Tuesday night and was also disappointed in Hughes.
Although it's still unofficial, it is worth noting that in the depth chart released by the Colts, Hughes was the last defensive tackle on the depth chart, behind Ricky Jean Francois, Fili Moala and Drake Nevis (h/t Stampede Blue).
The questions about work ethic and stamina when Hughes was drafted have yet to be answered, and that's a major issue with a guy who has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, there are others that have been impressing in camp, and Hughes will need to turn it around very quickly if he wants to earn a roster spot.
Prime (No. 47) pictured in the middle.
The reason that C.O. Prime is on this list is that he was already dismissed from the team.
Well, kind of.
It was a very interesting few hours for Prime back on July 30. Josh McNary, the former Army lieutenant, was able to finally join the team, forcing the Colts to waive Prime. Shortly after, the team placed Brandon McKinney on IR, bringing back Prime thanks to the extra roster spot (h/t Stampede Blue).
Prime hasn't really stood out at camp, and the fact that the team has already attempted to let him go onec before does not bode well for the undrafted free agent out of Wagner.
UDFAs always have an uphill battle to make the final roster, and Prime's is certainly the hardest battle of them all.
The Colts are using fullbacks now thanks to the arrival of Pep Hamilton, the new offensive coordinator. Still, it seems that Dan Moore may be the odd man out at the position.
It's quite clear that the Colts plan on using Stanley Havili as the starting fullback. They use Havili all over the field, as a traditional fullback in the I-formation, as a pass protector in shotgun and even checking him out in the slot or on the outside as a receiver.
Along with Havili, the Colts have also been using Dominique Jones, the fullback/tight end hybrid in both first-team and second-team reps.
Not only is the team using two others at the fullback position more frequently, Moore also recently sprained the AC joint in his shoulder, according to Tom James of the Tribune Star.
It's unlikely the Colts keep more than one or two guys at the fullback position, and with the recent injury, things aren't looking bright for the young fullback Moore.
The competition at the wide receiver position is intense, and if it was based off of coolest name, Rodrick Rumble would certainly be on the team. Unfortunately, that isn't the case, and there are simply too many other guys that are beating out Rumble at camp.
At this point, there seems to be five guys that are locks at receiver. They are Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen. All of those guys have been impressive at camp and/or have been locks for some time.
That leaves Jeremy Kelley, Nathan Palmer, Lanear Sampson, Jabin Sambrano and Rumble all fighting essentially to just stay on the team longer.
The two guys that have stood out have been Palmer and Kelley. Palmer has shown nice footwork and clearly looks like he knows what he's doing out there after being on the practice squad with the San Francisco 49ers then being picked up by the Colts in 2012.
For Kelley, he's looked very nice, especially considering he's a 6'6'' wide receiver. Although he may not make the final roster, his height and potential could earn him a spot on the practice squad.
There have been so many other guys standing out at camp, and unfortunately Rumble has had some drops and failed to make really big plays. It's been a nice run for the receiver out of Idaho State, but it could be coming to an end soon.
UPDATE: Rodrick Rumble has officially been waived, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.