The Indianapolis Colts were a very popular pick as a dark horse team that could contend for the Super Bowl this season. They made some moves to bolster their defense, giving them legitimate playmakers at all three levels and were hopeful that Matt Ryan would provide an upgrade at quarterback over Carson Wentz.
As we enter Week 9 of the season, nothing has gone according to plan for the Colts, at least offensively. On defense, the Colts are inside the top 10 in points allowed and yards allowed, but the team is still only 3-4-1 as the offensive performance has been abysmal.
The offensive line struggles are a big reason for the team’s production overall cratering. They struggled to protect Ryan, who was turning the ball over at an alarming rate and has already been removed as the starting quarterback, replaced by 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger. Jonathan Taylor has fallen woefully short of last season’s production as he has dealt with a nagging ankle injury.
Looking to shake things up and boost the offense, the Colts did make some calls around the league ahead of the deadline in search of some weapons. According to one NFL scout that spoke to NFL Analysis Network, Indianapolis checked in with the Carolina Panthers about the availability of D.J. Moore but was turned away.
“I know Indy was one of the teams interested in DJ Moore. But, the Panthers were steadfast in their desire to hang onto him.”
It made sense for the Colts to at least do their due diligence. Carolina had made multiple major changes, firing head coach Matt Rhule. Shortly after that, they traded wide receiver Robbie Anderson and running back Christian McCaffrey.
There was a lot of speculation that Moore could also be on the move, but the Panthers were dead set on keeping him and pass rusher Brian Burns as foundational pieces. They were reportedly offered two first-round picks for Burns from the Los Angeles Rams and turned the deal down, which speaks to how serious they were about keeping those two players.
Moore has seen an uptick in his production the last two weeks with P.J. Walker taking over as the starter. He has been targeted 21 times, catching 13 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He is a bonafide No. 1 receiver, so it makes sense why the Colts would want to pursue him and why Carolina didn’t want to part ways with him.