The Indianapolis Colts made yet another roster move this week, signing second-year quarterback Stephen Morris off the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad on Thursday, per Dave Zangero of Comcast Sports Net.
Indianapolis made the move as starting quarterback Andrew Luck (abdomen/kidney) and backup Matt Hasselbeck (jaw/ribs) are still ailing from injuries. Kevin Bowen of Colts.com reported that Luck, who has not played since Nov. 8, will miss the team’s week 16 game at Miami, while Hasselbeck has been injured the last three weeks and is officially listed as questionable. Hasselbeck was limited in practice today but is expected to start on Sunday.
“I’m way, way better off than I was Jacksonville week or Houston week,” said Hasselbeck. “I think just who I want to be to the guys in this locker room, and the example you want to set. Everybody’s banged up. Now is the time to be mentally and physically tough. It gets challenging. We’ve lost a few games. The atmosphere is not ideal. It can be a little toxic. So we just need guys to stick together, toughen up mentally and physically, and fight.”
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 24, 2015
If Hasselbeck can’t go in the very important game for the Colts, veteran Charlie Whitehurst will get the start, thus making Morris the likely backup. Whitehurst, 33, has played in part of the last three games. The 10-year veteran has completed 7-of-18 passes for 72 yards and one interception.
Indianapolis (6-8) is still in the running for the AFC South crown as they are just one game behind the Houston Texans (7-7).
Colts.com reporter Steve Andreas ran down all the scenarios for the Colts to remain in playoff contention for the final week of the season; basically they need to defeat the Dolphins and hope the Texans lose at Tennessee, or Cincinnati loses at Denver.
The fact that the Colts are still alive for the division is a little bit of a surprise as they have lost three straight and have struggled on both sides of the ball. Indianapolis has been outscored 112-36 the last three games, though the Colts only allowed 16 points in their loss to Houston last week. In the last three games, the Colts have totaled 762 yards of total offense and turned the ball over seven times.
Defensively, Indianapolis has forced six turnovers over the last three contests, but also has given up 1,224 total yards of offense. Indianapolis ranks 28th in the NFL in yards allowed and 29th in scoring defense, giving up 26.6 points a game.
Morris has spent most of the season on the Eagles practice squad, though he did start the season as Philadelphia’s third string quarterback after being claimed off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he spent most of the 2014 season. The former Miami Hurricane quarterback appeared in three preseason games this year for the Jaguars, completing 23 of 42 passes (54.8 percent) for 242 passing yards and one touchdown.
To make room for Morris, the Colts placed cornerback D’Joun Smith (knee) on injured reserve. A 2015 third round pick, Smith recorded only one tackle in four games – Smith missed the first 11 weeks of the season after suffering a knee injury in the preseason.
Earlier this week, Indianapolis made several other roster moves. The team signed Trey Williams from Miami’s practice squad and promoted defensive end Earl Okine, along with defensive tackle Kelcy Quarrels, from their practice squad. In corresponding moves, wide receiver Griff Walen (fractured rib) and defensive tackle Billy Winn (torn rotator cuff) were placed on injured reserve while running back Zurlon Tipton was waived.
[AP Photo/Matt Rourke]