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Colts sign quarterback Stephen Morris, place D'Joun Smith on injured reserve

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The Indianapolis Colts today signed quarterback Stephen Morris off of the Eagles' practice squad and placed cornerback D'Joun Smith on injured reserve.

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts made a roster move on this Christmas Eve morning, signing quarterback Stephen Morris off of the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad and placing cornerback D'Joun Smith on season-ending injured reserve.

Morris, a 6-2, 218 pound quarterback, played collegiately at Miami, where he played in 36 games (starting 30) and completed 551 of 955 passes for 7,896 yards and 49 touchdowns with 30 interceptions.  Morris notched back-to-back 3,000 yard passing seasons in his junior and senior years, becoming the second quarterback in school history to reach that mark twice in his career.  He went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, however, and was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent.  He spent the 2014 season on the Jaguars' practice squad before being elevated to the active roster for the final two games of the season.  He then spent the 2015 offseason and training camp with Jacksonville but was waived after final cuts.  The Eagles then claimed him off of waivers, and after having him on their active roster for a couple of weeks, they waived him only to re-sign him to their practice squad, where he has been since.

The signing of a quarterback isn't a surprise, as Alex Tanney was claimed off of the team's practice squad, Andrew Luck won't play this week, and Matt Hasselbeck is beat up.  As of right now, it still sounds like the team plans on Hasselbeck starting this Sunday, but since he has missed time in each of the last three games due to his injuries, it's not a bad idea to sign a guy.  This could also indicate some doubt as to Hasselbeck's status, but I don't think it necessarily has to mean that he won't play.  The Colts needed a body at the position just in case, as now they have  Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, and Stephen Morris.

The corresponding roster move to the signing of Morris was to place rookie corner D'Joun Smith on injured reserve, ending his rookie season before we got a chance to see him in action much at all.  Smith missed the first nine games of the season due to a knee injury that resulted in him being placed on injured reserve with a designation to return.  He was activated before the game against the Falcons and played in the next four games before again missing last week's game with a knee injury.  Now, that injury has resulted in him being placed on season-ending injured reserve.  In all, Smith played in just four games (recovering a fumble) and played just 19 defensive snaps and 81 special teams snaps.

The hope coming into this year was that Smith, the Colts' third round pick out of Florida Atlantic, would be able to step in as the number four corner and show enough to perhaps have a bigger role moving forward.  With Greg Toler's contract up at the end of the year, many were hoping that Smith would show enough to make re-signing Toler a non-necessity, but the reality is that after one year, we still don't know much about how Smith can play and what he can do.  That's unfortunate, but his rookie season was hampered by injury.