Rogers' first NFL action could be Thursday vs. Tennessee Titans
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Da'Rick Rogers may finally get his chance in the NFL, and it could come Thursday night just 65 miles from where he wrapped up his collegiate career in Tennessee Tech's Tucker Stadium.
On Monday, Indianapolis elevated Rogers from the practice squad to the active roster and he is expected to take the field Thursday when the struggling Colts face the Tennessee Titans in LP Field.
Coincidentally, Rogers will wear number 16 for the Colts, the same number jersey being worn on the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys by another former Golden Eagle standout receiver, Tim Benford.
Whether Rogers sees action or not isn't determined, since seven members of the roster will be inactive at the game site. However, given the lack of available receivers for quarterback Andrew Luck, indications point to Rogers lining up opposite the Titans. Both Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen are out for the season, and the lack of firepower was abundantly evident in Sunday's 38-8 loss to the Rams.
The coaching staff moved to address that need for a playmaker on Monday, elevating Rogers from the practice squad.
Although no sure bet to be active, coach Chuck Pagano hinted Tuesday that the gifted rookie will be given a chance to compete for a significant role down the stretch.
"You've got a talented football player," Pagano said, citing Rogers' size, speed and big-play ability. "Now we are going to give him an opportunity because he's earned it."
After two seasons at Tennessee, Rogers transferred to Tech just before the 2012 season. As a junior, he tied the Tech single-season record for receiving touchdowns (10), while finishing third in receptions (61) and fourth in receiving yards (893) in school history. He left Tech following that season and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Bills, before being picked up by the Colts.
"(It's) probably more that you've got a talented football player that since we brought in here and gave him an opportunity, he's done everything we've asked him to do," said Pagano when asked if Rogers' elevation had to do with helping provide an offensive spark. "We're going to give him the opportunity because he's earned that opportunity.
"He's big, he's fast, has excellent ball skills. He's another guy we can add to the mix. We'll see how things go. He's certainly a guy if he gets out there has playmaking ability. He's done a great job to this point."
The Colts-Titans game will kickoff Thursday at 7:25 p.m. CT, and will be shown on the NFL Network.