INDIANAPOLIS — With Indianapolis’ top three quarterbacks hurting, the Colts moved swiftly Tuesday to fill a glaring need.
First, they signed former Buccaneers starter Josh Freeman. Ninety minutes later, they announced the signing of Ryan Lindley.
What it all means for Sunday’s regular-season finale against Tennessee remains unclear.
On Monday, coach Chuck Pagano insisted he had not yet ruled out Andrew Luck, who has missed six straight games with a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle and that backup Matt Hasselbeck was doubtful after hurting his throwing shoulder in Sunday’s 18-12 win at Miami. Third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst went on injured reserve Monday with an injured hamstring.
That left Stephen Morris, who was signed off Philadelphia’s practice squad Dec. 24, as Indy’s only healthy quarterback.
The two signings could be an indication that neither Luck nor Hasselbeck, the 40-year-old who has gone 5-3 as a starter this season, will be ready when the Colts’ try to salvage their longshot playoff hopes. Indy (7-8) was off Tuesday and players and coaches were not available to comment.
The move for Freeman was expected after Pagano confirmed they had brought him in for a workout and acknowledged the team needed another quarterback. Freeman started 60 NFL games after being taken in the first round of the 2009 draft but he hasn’t played in the league since 2013. He spent this season playing with the Brooklyn Bolts of the Fall Experimental Football League.
In five NFL seasons, Freeman threw for 13,724 yards with 80 touchdowns and 67 interceptions.
The 26-year-old Lindley was Arizona’s sixth-round pick in 2012 and started six games in his first three seasons, including two last season with the Cardinals.
But he was released by New England before the season opener in September and has not yet played this season.
In nine career games, Lindley threw for 1,314 yards with two TDs and 11 interceptions.
Things have been so bad for the Colts this season that they lost practice squad quarterback Alex Tanney when the Titans (3-12) signed him to the active roster and receiver Griff Whalen, their No. 1 emergency quarterback, when he was put on injured reserve last week.
Indy also has promoted inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera to the active roster, signed guard Kitt O’Brien to the practice squad and put linebacker Josh McNary on injured reserve.