|49ers rookie practice squad WR Nathan Palmer has been signed by the Indianapolis Colts. (Getty Images)|
Undrafted out of Northern Illinois, Palmer quickly became a standout rookie during 49ers training camp. He ranked second on the team with six catches for 93 yards with a TD during the preseason, including a long of 51 yards.
"I was getting up to get ready to go work out this morning and had a missed couple calls from my agent and once I called him back he was telling me there was good news and bad,” Palmer said. “First he told me I was going home and I thought I'd been cut or released. Then he said I'm going home because I'm going to play for Indy.”
He was among the team's final cuts as it trimmed its roster to 53 players, but was brought back to the practice squad over fellow rookie WRs Chris Owusu and Brian Tyms. Palmer turned down offers to the join the practice squads in New England, Miami and Arizona to remain in San Francisco. Owusu later signed with San Diego's practice squad, then was brought to Tampa Bay to join the Bucaneers' 53-man roster.
“It's a bittersweet moment because I love it around San Francisco, the organization, the guys and playing for Coach Harbaugh,” Palmer said. “It's just a better opportunity for me now.”
Palmer said he hasn't been in touch with Colts owner Jim Irsay or any of the coaches, but will head to Indianapolis this afternoon to join the team.
When he gets there, there will be at least one familiar face: Palmer's college QB, Chandler Harnish.
“He just texted me that he's pretty pumped,” Palmer said.
Palmer also said he's looking forward to playing with QB Andrew Luck, who was mentored by Harbaugh at Stanford.
“Anytime you can go in and work with a young quarterback, it's a chance to build good camaraderie,” Palmer said. “I'm excited to work with [Luck].”
Shortly after receiving word, Palmer met with Harbaugh and 49ers GM Trent Baalke, both of whom expressed they were proud of Palmer, but sad to see him go.
“They wished me the best and understood it's a great opportunity for me,” Palmer said.
His signing by the Colts could signify WR Austin Collie's knee injury could keep the veteran out an extended period of time.
Palmer caught 93 passes for 1,575 yards and 16 TDs in his college career.