Colts Release QB Josh Johnson Again; Sign WR/KR Marcus Thigpen


The Indianapolis Colts announced today that the team has released backup quarterback Josh Johnson and signed kick returner/wide receiver Marcus Thigpen in a corresponding move.

Of course, Johnson was re-signed earlier last week due to concerns about both Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck‘s availability for Thursday night’s win over the Houston Texans. However, it appears that this is at least an encouraging sign that Luck will be able to make his 1st start since Week 3, giving the Colts two active quarterbacks.

Oct 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Josh Johnson (2) warms up before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts will need him too, as they’re set to square off against their arch-nemesis New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football this week. No disrespect to Hasselbeck–who’s played terrific in relief of Luck in 2 consecutive starts, but in order to upset the Patriots, they’ll likely need their #12 back behind center and playing like his prior form.

Regarding Thippen, the 5’9, 200 pound wide receiver/kick returner is a product of Indiana University and a former undrafted free agent in 2009.

Thigpen’s made a lot of stops throughout his professional career, including the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, and CFL. Most recently, Thigpen played with the Buffalo Bills last season, where he appeared in 4 games.

In his 4 year career, Thigpen has 9 career NFL receptions for 112 total receiving yards and a touchdown. However, Thigpen is largely a special teams returnman by trade given his size, speed, and well-demonstrated return ability.

He has 85 career punt returns for 847 punt return yards (10.0 avg. per punt return) and 2 return touchdowns, while having 92 career kick returns for 2,232 kick return yards (24.3 avg. per kick return) and 1 return touchdown.

It appears that the Colts are looking to improve their special teams return game ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Patriots. While backup wide receiver Griff Whalen has solidified the team’s punt return game, the Colts could be looking for an upgrade in their kick return game as backup running back Tyler Varga continues to deal with concussion like symptoms.

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