Joe Haeg

Colts’ Joe Haeg Designated For Return

The Colts’ offensive line is about to get even stronger. Tackle/guard Joe Haeg has been designated as the team’s second and final player to return from IR this year, per a team announcement. 

The third-year pro was placed on IR Sept. 28 after suffering an ankle injury in the Colts’ Week 3 loss to the Eagles. Prior to that, Haeg had started Indy’s first three games of the season at right tackle.

Even without Haeg, the Colts’ offensive line has been dominant as of late. Quarterback Andrew Luck has not been sacked in four straight games, and the Colts racked up 200 rushing yards in consecutive games against the Bills and Raiders.

Haeg’s skill set and versatility should only help to further bolster the Colts’ front five. The former fifth-round pick will probably spend the bulk of his time on the outside, but he can also move around a bit. As a rookie, he started games at left guard, right guard, and right tackle.

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Colts To Place OL Joe Haeg On IR

While the Colts have been hesitant about placing yet-to-debut left tackle Anthony Castonzo on IR, they will move another of their key offensive linemen off the active roster.

Starting right tackle Joe Haeg will head to IR because of a high ankle sprain, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The Colts do not believe this is a season-ending injury. The hope is the third-year blocker can return by November, per Rapoport. Haeg cannot come off IR for eight weeks.

Haeg started three games for the Colts this season, serving as their right tackle. The team used multiple players during the preseason in an attempt to fill this role, but Haeg — who played on the right edge at times during his two previous Indianapolis seasons — ended up staying there. Austin Howard and second-round rookie Braden Smith were tried on the right side during the preseason.

A fifth-round pick during Ryan Grigson‘s final draft, Haeg has started 32 games for the Colts. He will be an IR-return candidate. This puts the Colts down two tackles for Sunday, with Frank Reich having already declared Castonzo will miss a fourth straight game due to his persistent hamstring trouble.

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South Notes: Panthers, Colts, Texans, WRs

An offensive line that already lost a first-team All-Pro this offseason became beleaguered by injuries in training camp. Andrew Norwell left the Panthers for the Jaguars, and Carolina then lost Daryl Williams, Amini Silatolu and Matt Kalil to injuries. However, Carolina’s receiving good news on this front entering Week 1. Williams returned to Panthers practice, per Bill Voth of Panthers.com, despite being barely a month removed from an MCL injury and a dislocated patella. The contract-year right tackle was believed to be an IR-return candidate in August, but the Panthers still have him on their active roster. He hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, but the Panthers may be cautious with their right tackle starter.

Silatolu is also back on the field. The veteran blocker tore one of his menisci in mid-August but said he’s 100 percent, per Joe Person of The Athletic (on Twitter). Voth adds Silatolu may be available for the Panthers’ opener. Greg Van Roten took over as the team’s starting left guard after Silatolu went down.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions:

  • D’Onta Foreman wasn’t as fortunate with his rehab process, though the Texans‘ backup running back was rehabbing a more severe injury this offseason. The Texans placed Foreman, who tore his Achilles’ tendon in November 2017, on the Reserve/PUP list to shelve him for six weeks. And Bill O’Brien said (via Deepi Sidhu of Texans.com, on Twitter) the second-year back “no question” needed the time to finish his recovery from the malady. Foreman is expected to be Lamar Miller‘s top backup again, but it’s uncertain how quickly he’ll be able to return to that role.
  • The Colts may have identified their starting right-side offensive linemen. For now, as this team-issued depth chart is unofficial, Indianapolis is going with veterans to man those spots. Matt Slauson is listed as Indy’s starting right guard, and third-year starter Joe Haeg is the first-string right tackle. Second-round rookie guard Braden Smith was tried at right tackle, but for now he will learn from the sideline as his career begins. Haeg started as a Colts right guard and right tackle the past two seasons. The Colts cut Austin Howard, the Ravens’ starting right tackle last season, over the weekend.
  • The Titans will worked out a pair of wide receivers on Tuesday. Devin Lucien and Drew Morgan auditioned for the team, per NESN.com’s Doug Kyed and the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson (Twitter links). The Patriots cut Lucien last week, and Morgan didn’t make the Dolphins’ 53-man roster.
  • Recent Seahawks wide receiver cut Malik Turner is in Houston working out for the Texans today, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Colts Sign Four Draft Picks

After signing first-round pick Ryan Kelly on Wednesday night, the Colts have agreed to terms with four more players from their 2016 draft class. The team has announced deals with fourth-round defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, fifth-round offensive tackle Joe Haeg, seventh-round linebacker Trevor Bates, and seventh-round center Austin Blythe.

Ridgeway, an early-entry player from Texas, broke out in his sophomore year with 47 total tackles, 6 sacks, and 10 tackles for a loss. In his junior year, he had 45 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. Those numbers weren’t quite as gaudy as 2014, but they were enough to draw the interest of the Colts around the middle of the draft.

Those rookies will join a Colts team that has now welcomed 21 undrafted free agents. To help make room for their new additions, the Colts waived offensive lineman Khaled Holmes and three other players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.