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Indianapolis Colts cut 15 players, including Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas couldn't stay healthy in his two seasons in Indianapolis, so the Colts finally cut their losses and released the veteran guard. AP Images/David Durochik

Most significant move: It wasn’t a matter of if guard Donald Thomas would be released, but more like when he would be released. You thought there might be a slight opportunity for the Indianapolis Colts to give Thomas a final shot at making the roster when they took him off the physically unable to perform list Aug. 28. Thomas, not to any fault of his own, simply couldn’t stay healthy. The Colts signed him in 2013 to be their starting left guard, but all he could give them was seven quarters in 32 regular-season games because of two torn right quads and a torn left bicep. The Colts aren’t in the position to pay a player who couldn’t stay healthy. Thomas had a base salary of $3.5 million this season. That money comes off the books for the Colts.

Ballard survives … for now: Like Thomas, Vick Ballard has battled injuries the past two seasons. He has played in only one game since the 2013 season because of a torn ACL and torn Achilles. Injuries could end up costing Ballard a roster spot this season. He missed time at the start of training camp because of right hamstring injury and then he injured his left hamstring last week. The Colts want to see Ballard in action so that they can see if he has the potential to regain the form that allowed him to lead the team in rushing with 844 yards in 2012. There’s no timetable on when Ballard will be back on the field, and two carries in the preseason likely won’t be enough for him to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. “He’s day-to-day,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “We’re hopeful but there’s no guarantee.”

What’s next: The Colts, like the 31 other teams in the NFL, have until 4 p.m. on Sept. 5 to get their roster down to 53 players.

Colts cuts: G Donald Thomas, G Harland Gunn, LB Nick Haag, LB Zack Hodges, OT Tyler Hoover, WR Ryan Lankford, DT Jeris Pendleton, WR Ezell Ruffin, LB Justin Shirk, TE Justin Sinz, RB Abou Toure, C Brandon Vitabile. CB Donald Celiscar and CB Deveron Carr were waived-injured. Both players will revert to the Colts’ injured reserve list if they clear waivers. The Colts also placed CB Tevin Mitchel on injured reserve.