INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts had an overload of running backs in late October and Mewelde Moore was the odd man out. He was released. There is no colder word in the NFL.
Moore is 30, a husband and a father with nine years of NFL experience. He had two ways of reacting to the fact he was no longer wanted: Resolve or self-pity. He chose the former.
“I was kind of in limbo and doing a lot of praying and meditating on what's out there for me,” he said. “It's all about having a family that supports you through thick and thin. You really find out who your friends are. Everybody I knew was there supporting me. It was never one of those things where I was being deflated or anything like that.”
Moore stayed in shape the best he could and Monday received a call from the Colts offering to bring him back. The Colts are down to one healthy running back – starter Vick Ballard – and they need reinforcements. Donald Brown and Robert Hughes were put on the injured reserve list. Delone Carter could miss the rest of the regular season.
It could be another fortunate turn for the Colts that Moore was still available.
The Colts (9-4) play at Houston (11-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Colts can clinch a playoff berth with one win in their final three games, as well as a number of other scenarios.
Ballard is the starter, no question, and seems to be getting better by the game. But Moore will be able to step into the lineup with ample knowledge of the system.
Not only was Moore with the Colts through training camp and the first part of the season, he also played with interim coach and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in Pittsburgh.
“It's a big help,” Moore said. “You know the system, you know what's going on. All you have to do now is focus on the most important thing, which is winning ball games and making sure you get in that peak of being in shape.”
Moore says it's a great time to rejoin the Colts heading into the stretch drive of a possible playoff berth.
Moore had nine carries for 14 yards and four catches for 36 yard and a touchdown in his earlier stint with the Colts.
“This is the part of the season every kid played in their backyard,” Moore said. “It's the final play, 4th down and 2, diving over the pile. This is the type of football that means the most – football in December and January.”
Moore said he has not been surprised by the Colts success even with the number of young players on the roster. The Colts also signed running back Deji Karim, who had spent training camp with the team.
“I knew these guys could get a lot of things done,” Moore said. “There's a lot of talent in the room, intelligent guys with football IQs through the roof. I'm just excited to get in and help out and contribute to what these guys have rolling.”