It's been quite a day for the Colts (and the NFL) today. Two big suspensions - first to Colts owner Jim Irsay and then to Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker - obviously took the major headlines. Lost in all of that, however, is that the Colts signed an offensive lineman today (who would have thought an offensive line signing right now would get overlooked by some Colts fans?)! Today, the Colts made several roster moves, firstly signing tackle Jamon Meredith to the active roster. They also signed tackle Reid Fragel to the practice squad. They released offensive lineman Tyler Hoover from the practice squad, placed lineman Xavier Nixon on the injured return with the designation for return, and waived running back Deji Karim from the team's IR with an injury settlement.
Meredith is a 6-5, 312 offensive tackle who has played in 47 career games (starting 24) with Bills, Giants, Steelers, and most recently the Buccaneers in 2012-13. He played in all 16 games last year for the Bucs and started 8 of them. In 2012, Meredith started 12 games for Tampa Bay. He played collegiately at the University of South Carolina and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He can play both guard and tackle, but he's best suited at tackle.
Fragel (6-8, 308 pounds) played collegiately at Ohio State, where he played alongside Jack Mewhort. The Bengals drafted him in the seventh round in 2013 and he made their practice squad. The Browns signed him to their active roster mid-season and just released him a few days ago. He played in all 51 games for Ohio State from 2009-2012 (starting 21), and for his first three seasons he was a tight end before Urban Meyer moved him to right tackle, where he started all 12 games in his senior season.
With Nixon, he had a knee procedure during training camp and has been out since. His return is absolutely expected this season, but the Colts ran into a problem with both Joe Reitz and Xavier Nixon injured and out for a while. Neither was out long enough to think about IR, but the Colts couldn't just carry both injured guys on their roster with the lack of depth the line had. Nixon and Reitz are both great depth offensive linemen and spot starters, but they're both injured currently. This move only made sense. With the injured reserve designation to return, Nixon will be allowed to return prior to the Colts' week nine game. So he'll be able to participate in the Monday Night Football game against the Giants on November 3, if healthy. This move makes perfect sense to stash a good depth lineman on IR DFR until he's ready to return, and it opens up a roster spot - which the Colts wisely used to address the offensive line depth.
Believe it or not, the guard position actually wasn't the position they needed to address the most. The team literally had zero tackle depth before signing Meredith - who will provide a good backup the team desperately needed. The best hope is that Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus just stay healthy, but at least the Colts now have depth behind them.