Indy’s surprise rookies get last chance to win roster spots
The smallest player on the Colts’ preseason roster might be the team’s biggest surprise.
At 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, JoJo Natson has proven he can be a dynamic kick returner and also is capable of making plays in the passing game. All he has to do now is demonstrate those skills one more time.
On Thursday against Cincinnati, Natson and dozens of other NFL hopefuls will get one last chance to convince the Colts they deserve a spot on the 53-man active roster.
“I’ve been doubted all my life, so it’s nothing really new,” Natson said. “I just like the overview of things once I do prove those doubters wrong, just to see the look on their faces then. custom jerseys I just use it as motivation.”
If he’s still around for Monday’s first regular season practice, Natson will be all smiles.
When the former Akron receiver first arrived in Indy, few gave him a chance. Everyone towered over him in customized jerseys the huddle and 6-8, 358-pound offensive tackle Zach Banner, a fourth-round draft pick from Southern California, practically kept Natson out of view.
Somehow, these two differently sized teammates formed a close friendship that has kept them talking about everything from airline accommodations to nicknames.
“I am fine with the ‘Hulk and The Ant Man’ nickname,” Natson said, referring to Banner’s description. “I have been called all types of things so I can ride with it.”
Exactly where Banner, Natson or other players fit into the Colts’ plans won’t be known until Saturday afternoon’s cut down deadline. Rosters must be trimmed from 90 to 53 and even some of those who make it won’t be safe. Team executives always look to upgrade the roster or plug holes and will continue making moves through the weekend and the season.
If Natson gets cut, he could get a second chance and a longer look on the 10-man practice squad that can be filled starting Sunday afternoon.
Natson enters the preseason finale as the Colts’ leading receiver with 11 catches for Customized Football Jerseys 124 yards. He has five punt returns for 6.6 yards — nobody else has more than one return — and six of Indy’s 11 kickoff returns, averaging 22.5 yards.
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