INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent return specialist Josh Cribbs and free agent tight end Weslye Saunders to the active roster. The team placed running back Ahmad Bradshaw on Injured Reserve and waived outside linebacker Victor Butler.
The Colts also signed running back Michael Hill to the practice squad and released wide receiver Eric Thomas from the practice squad.
Cribbs, 6-1, 192 pounds, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2007, 2009, 2012), two-time NFL All-Pro selection (2007, 2009) and a member of the NFL All-Decade Team (2000s). He leads all active players in career kickoff returns and yards and ranks fifth in NFL history in combined kickoff/punt return touchdowns with 11. Cribbs ranks third all-time in kickoff return yards (10,505), tied for fifth in kickoff returns (407) and fifth (12,755) in combined kick/punt return yards. He shares an NFL record with nine other players for kickoff return touchdowns in a game, with two in a 2009 win at Kansas City. He also owns two of the top four days ever recorded by an NFL returner: 306 combined kickoff/punt return yards in a 2007 contest against Baltimore and 305 in a 2009 trip to Kansas City.
Now in his 10th NFL season (2005-2014), Cribbs has returned 407 kickoffs for 10,505 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 203 punt returns for 2,250 yards and three touchdowns. Offensively, he has started 31-of-130 career games played and has totaled 109 receptions for 1,167 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing 141 times for 808 yards and two touchdowns.
Saunders, 6-5, 261 pounds, re-joins the Colts after being waived on August 30, 2014. He was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on October 16, 2012. While with the team from 2012-13, he totaled six receptions for 61 yards in 17 games played (five starts). For his career, he has caught 10 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown in 33 games (11 starts). Saunders entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.
Bradshaw played in 10 games (one start) this season and recorded 90 rushing attempts for 425 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 38 receptions for 300 yards and a career-high six receiving touchdowns. His receiving touchdown total led all running backs in 2014 and tied for the fifth-highest single-season total by a running back in franchise history. For his career, Bradshaw has tallied 1,052 rushes for 4,843 yards and 36 touchdowns and 177 receptions for 1,429 yards and nine touchdowns in 97 games played (36 starts).
Butler was signed by the Colts as a free agent on October 6, 2014 and recorded three special teams tackles in two games this season. For his career, he has totaled 65 tackles (48 solo), 11.0 sacks, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 46 special teams stops in 65 games played (two starts). Butler was originally selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Hill, 5-10, 210 pounds, was originally signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent on April 27, 2013 and also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and most recently the Green Bay Packers before being released from the Packers practice squad on November 5, 2014. As a rookie in 2013, he played in eight games and rushed for 23 yards on nine carries and caught two passes for 23 yards. He also returned one kickoff for 19 yards. Hill finished his career at Missouri Western State as the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,969), all-purpose yards (5,851), rushing attempts (928) and 100-yard rushing games (20). As a senior in 2012, he led the nation (Division II) with a school-record 2,168 yards on 311 carries (7.0 avg.). Hill finished as the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Award, given to the nation’s top player in Division II.
Thomas was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Troy University on May 12, 2014, was waived on August 25 and was signed to the practice squad on November 5. He played for the Omaha Mammoths of the FXFL after he was waived by the Colts and caught four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in two games played. Thomas finished his Troy career ranked third all-time in school history with 197 receptions, third with 2,655 career receiving yards and second with 29 touchdown receptions.