Canadian offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell has signed a futures contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
O’Donnell spent the entire 2020 NFL season developing on the Colts practice squad. He’s listed as a tackle on the team’s roster.
“Over the years I’ve had guys on our team that have come from Canada and you can find some good football players up there, but there’s always an adjustment period,” head coach Frank Reich said during training camp. “So we’ll see how it goes with Carter, he’s working hard, learning the ropes, we’ll continue to evaluate that as it goes.”
The Colts finished the regular season 11-5 and lost to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round.
O’Donnell was named a first-team U Sports All-Canadian for his efforts in anchoring the Alberta offensive line in 2019. He helped the Golden Bears average 399 yards of total offence and 5.2 yards per rush. Scouts noticed his talent on film and it earned him an invite to the prestigious East-West Shrine Game.
For more than three decades, at least two Canadian university players have been invited to the annual event in Florida. It features a week of practices in front of NFL and CFL coaches and personnel men followed by a game broadcast on the NFL Network. Last year’s contest took place on January 18.
The Shrine Game is the oldest United States college football all-star showcase. It has served as an NFL launching point for Canadian players such as tight end Antony Auclair (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), defensive lineman David Onyemata (New Orleans Saints) and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (Kansas City Chiefs) in recent years. O’Donnell took advantage of the opportunity and impressed NFL scouts.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Donnell’s University of Alberta pro day was cancelled. It was originally scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19 inside the Foote Field dome and there were eight NFL teams who had planned to be in attendance and every CFL franchise.
The 22-year-old O’Donnell has impressed the Colts coaching staff and talent evaluators, earning a chance to continue working his way to the active roster.