Colts run out of patience with D’Joun Smith
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Another draft pick that brought high expectations to the Indianapolis Colts has failed to deliver.
Cornerback D’Joun Smith, a 2015 third-rounder, was waived-injured Friday. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the team’s injured reserve list. The most likely end game for Smith is to reach an injury settlement with the team once he’s healthy, and be released.
The move with Smith is the first as the Colts must pare their roster from 75 to 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Smith’s rookie season was marred by a knee injury that required surgery in September. He would appear in just four games and was not credited with a tackle. He encountered a setback with the knee during the offseason and missed the entire offseason workout program.
Smith appeared on the verge of returning to full-time status a few weeks ago – he was on the field for 15 snaps in the Aug. 20 preseason game against Baltimore – but suffered an ankle injury.
Last week, coach Chuck Pagano, who speared the evaluation of Smith at Florida Atlantic, made his frustrations with Smith’s status clear.
“We would’ve loved to see him out on the field,’’ he said. “Hopefully we can get him back out there before the end of the week. Maybe he gets on the field, maybe he doesn’t.’’
It’s unknown the length of Smith’s rehab, and that was complicated by the rash of injuries to several front-line players. The Colts already might have six or seven players on the active roster that won’t be ready for the Sept. 11 opener against Detroit.
The fate of another top draft pick – guard Hugh Thornton – also is in question. The 2013 third-round pick has been battling an injury to his right foot and doesn’t seem to be close to returning to action.
And let’s not forget the escapades of two other 2013 draft picks.
Linebacker Bjoern Werner, the Colts’ first-round pick, was waived by the team in March and claimed by Jacksonville. The Jaguars waived him last week.
And center Khaled Holmes, a fourth-rounder, was waived by the Colts in May after they selected Ryan Kelly in the first round of the April draft. He eventually signed with the Chicago Bears.
If Thornton isn’t on the opening-day roster, the Colts will have whiffed on their entire ’13 draft class.