clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Colts sign veteran OT Jared Veldheer to team’s practice squad after workout

The Colts have brought back ‘a blast from the past,’ re signing veteran OT Jared Veldheer to their taxi-man squad.

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, longtime NFL veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer is coming out of retirement to sign with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad:

The 36 year old had a surprising free agent workout with the Colts this past Friday, and Indianapolis apparently liked enough of what they saw to ink him to a taxi-squad contract.

Veldheer last played football in 2020, when he started in two games for the Colts late in the year—starting in both the season finale and the team’s wild card loss to the Buffalo Bills in the wake of veteran blindside bookend Anthony Castonzo’s season-ending injury. He then signed with the Green Bay Packers for their own postseason push, once the Colts were officially eliminated from contention (and he was claimed off their practice squad).

This doesn’t necessarily bode well for the status of starting right tackle Braden Smith’s knee injury, who missed this past Sunday’s game. Rookie Blake Freeland is starting again in Smith’s absence, but the Colts were apparently in the market for experienced veteran depth.

Veldheer has a wealth of it too with 114 career starts, having spent his prior pro career also with the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and Denver Broncos organizations. That being said, expectations should be tempered a bit given that Veldheer hasn’t played professional football in almost three seasons now and is now much closer to forty than thirty years old.

It seems likely that Veldheer will be promoted to the Colts active 53-man roster at some point this week, as there likely had to be enough incentive for him to come out of retirement for perhaps a final potential playoff run. Whether he’s simply a depth signing or viewed as Freeland’s competition during Smith’s absence remains to be seen.