Fort Wayne native Trai Essex was released Tuesday by the Indianapolis Colts to make room for a new cornerback.
Essex, who had spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, played in two games with the Colts, filling in at right guard when the offensive line was hit by a series of injuries. The former Harding High School standout played the second halves of the Colts' win over the Minnesota Vikings and their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After releasing Essex, the Colts signed former Carolina Panthers cornerback Darius Butler.
Butler (5-foot-10, 195) has played in 42 NFL games with the New England Patriots and Panthers, and started eight games while with the Patriots. He has three career interceptions, including one interception-return touchdown. He was waived by the Patriots before last season and spent last year with the Panthers. He had six starts with the Panthers last season, but was released before this season.
Butler was originally a second-round pick out of the University of Connecticut.
The Colts are short-handed in the secondary with Vontae Davis suffering an ankle injury and Justin King a groin injury. Indianapolis has a bye week this Sunday.