Colts: 3 tight ends Indy can trade for if they don’t trust Mo Alie-Cox

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images)
Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images) /
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The Colts may need to trade for a tight end if injuries persist.

Following the signing of Trey Burton, the Indianapolis Colts were said to have one of the deepest tight end units in the NFL. While we would argue that buzz was a little premature, it did make sense as Burton and his versatility in terms of being able to line up anywhere on the field made for a perfect complement to sure-handed starter Jack Doyle.

Well, it unfortunately hasn’t taken long for that hype to blow up in the Colts’ face as Burton landed on injured reserve with a calf injury to start the year, meaning that he will be out through at least Week 3. Considering the six-year veteran’s history with lower leg injuries, fans should be hoping his spell on the sidelines doesn’t extend beyond that.

Doyle, meanwhile, was officially ruled out of the Colts’ all-important clash with Minnesota on Sunday due to both knee and ankle injuries, which has prompted many media members to question if his three-year $21 million contract extension was a mistake.

This means that Colts fans should be expecting Mo Alie-Cox to be the team’s starting tight end in Week 2. The third-year pro’s monster 6-foot-5, 267-pound frame suggests he should be able to make an impact right away, but his NFL experience is extremely limited. He’s made just three starts in his career, logging 17 receptions for 246 yards and two touchdowns during that span.

With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if head coach Frank Reich and the rest of the Colts’ coaching staff doesn’t have a ton of conviction in Alie-Cox and is plotting to target TE insurance via trade. The current market is pretty bereft, but these three players could definitely get a job done.

Raiders TE Jason Witten (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

3. Jason Witten

The Colts could target Witten, who had just one reception in his Raiders debut.

We know that the prospect of acquiring Jason Witten doesn’t move the needle among fans. It also wouldn’t fix the Colts’ glaring problem at tight end. However, beggars can’t be choosers and the fact of the matter is that Indianapolis is desperate for depth at the position.

At 38 years old, Witten isn’t going to turn heads with his athleticism, but he’s seemingly always open in the middle of the field and his hands are undeniably still among the most reliable in the NFL. Over the last three seasons with the Cowboys — before his move to Las Vegas — he tallied 195 receptions for 1,762 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Those are pretty impressive numbers for a player widely regarded to be in the twilight of his career. Nobody’s saying the 11-time Pro Bowler will turn back the clock and enjoy a spectacular season, but he would certainly serve as a needed security blanket for quarterback Philip Rivers on third down and in the red zone.