On January 4, the Indianapolis Colts announced Kenny Moore II was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
After suffering an ankle injury on November 28 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Moore II, a 2021 Pro Bowler, was ruled out for the past four games and didn’t practice for more than a month.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Moore II participated in a stretching session and did ladder drills during practice on January 4, but the team decided to hold him out for the final regular season game on January 8 against the Houston Texans.
Moore II joins fellow defenders in defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis (knee), linebacker Shaquille Leonard (neck), cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr. (knee) and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (throat) on the injured reserve list.
Defensive back Brandon Facyson’s status is up in the air for Week 18 as he remains in concussion protocol, while cornerback Stephon Gilmore did not practice on January 4 due to a wrist injury.
What Moore II’s Status Means
Along with the injuries to Rodgers Sr., Facyson, and Gilmore, Moore II’s injured reserve status means the Colts’ secondary will be thin entering Week 18.
Rookie defensive backs Dallis Flowers, Rodney Thomas II and four-year pro Tony Brown are in line to get more looks with the first-team defense on January 8 if Facyson and Gilmore are unable to play.
Interim head coach Jeff Saturday said more young players like Flowers and Thomas II are getting extensive playing time due to injuries to starters during a January 4 press conference.
“We’ve had a lot of guys on the defensive backfield who have had to rotate and play a lot of reps because of injuries or usage,” Saturday told the media. “And so I think it’s taking care of itself. We’re giving a lot of young guys a lot of playing time and things that they can build and bank experiences on for the future.”
Indianapolis has felt the impact of Moore II’s absence over the past month. The Colts have allowed an average of 402.75 yards per game since December 4.
Even with that glaring statistic and starting in just 12 games, Moore II hasn’t been able to replicate his 2021 breakout season, as he notched 65 total tackles, a sack and defended four passes in 2022. Last year, the Valdosta State product was tied for a team-high four interceptions, broke up 12 passes and made over 100 tackles.
Corresponding Move Made
Due to Moore II being placed on injured reserve, Indianapolis signed defensive end Rashod Berry to the Colts’ 53-man roster from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad.
Berry was initially signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft.
In stints with the Patriots, Detroit Lions and Jaguars, respectively, the former Ohio State Buckeye has played in eight career games. In Berry’s three-year career, he’s recorded four tackles and a quarterback hit.
Signing Berry is likely a depth move for the Colts’ defensive line, as Ngakoue was placed on injured reserve on December 31. No practice squad promotions or waiver claims have been made within the secondary to immediately replace Moore II.
Currently, Berry is listed as the backup right defensive end behind Ben Banogu on the Colts’ depth chart.