INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Monday added a solid blocker to the tight end position, as they announced the signing of free agent Ryan Hewitt.
In a corresponding move, the Colts placed defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis on injured reserve, which was expected. General manager Chris Ballard said Sunday that Lewis, who suffered a toe injury early in training camp, would be placed on IR and that the team would monitor his progress throughout the season.
The Colts on Monday also announced the signing of four players to their practice squad: guard Jamil Douglas, defensive end Carroll Phillips, linebacker Ahmad Thomas, and defensive end Jihad Ward.
Hewitt, 27, entered the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent back in May 2014, and would spend the first four seasons of his career in Cincinnati.
In 60 career games with 37 starts, Hewitt has logged 22 catches for 220 yards, while he also has played and started in one postseason contest, catching three passes for 37 yards for the Bengals back in their Wild Card round loss to the Colts in January 2015. Hewitt also has five career special teams stops.
Hewitt played in 13 games with three starts last season, logging two catches for 22 yards. He was credited with one special teams tackle this preseason.
But Hewitt's calling card in the NFL has primarily been his blocking abilities, something that could mesh well in his new home in Indianapolis, which has three other players at the position — Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope — who are each viable weapons in the passing game.
A 6-foot-4, 255-pound Denver native, Hewitt played four seasons at Stanford (2010-13), where he appeared in 51 games with 29 starts. He logged 473 receiving yards and 73 yards as a rusher during his time with the Cardinal, where he played both tight end and fullback.
As a junior, Hewitt was the primary blocker for running back Stepfan Taylor, who collected a school-record 1,530 rushing yards on the year.
Practice squad additions
The Colts now have nine of their possible 10 practice squad positions filled after signing tight end Mo Alie-Cox, wide receiver Reece Fountain, wide receiver Steve Ishmael, quarterback Phillip Walker and cornerback D.J. White to their practice squad on Sunday.
Here's a little bit on each of the four newest members of the Colts' practice squad:
» Douglas, 6-4, 309 pounds, participated in the Atlanta Falcons' 2018 offseason program and training camp before being waived during final cuts on September 1. He spent time on the Falcons' active roster and practice squad in 2017 but did not see game action. Douglas spent time on the Miami Dolphins' active roster and practice squad in 2016. He appeared in one game for the Dolphins. Douglas also spent time on the New England Patriots practice squad in 2016. As a rookie in 2015, he played in all 16 games (six starts) for Miami. Douglas was originally selected by the Dolphins in the fourth round (114th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.
» Phillips, 6-3, 242 pounds, participated in the Jacksonville Jaguars' 2018 offseason program and training camp before being waived during final cuts on September 1. He spent time on the Jaguars' active roster and practice squad as a rookie in 2017. Phillips played in four regular season games and saw action in two postseason contests. He was originally signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2017. Collegiately, Phillips saw action in 31 games at Illinois and finished with 88 tackles (47 solo), 25.5 tackles for loss, 12.0 sacks and three fumble recoveries.
» Thomas, 6-0, 220 pounds, participated in the Green Bay Packers' 2018 offseason program and training camp before being waived during final cuts on September 1. As a rookie, he spent the final five weeks of the 2017 season on the Packers' practice squad. Thomas originally signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent on May 5, 2017. As a collegiate safety, he played in 51 games (39 starts) at Oklahoma and totaled 223 tackles (149 solo), 5.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 11 passes defensed, four interceptions and one fumble recovery.
» Ward, 6-5, 290 pounds, participated in the Dallas Cowboys' 2018 offseason program and training camp before being waived during final cuts on September 1. He was acquired by the Cowboys in a trade with the Oakland Raiders on April 28, 2018. In two seasons (2016-17) with the Raiders, Ward played in 21 games (14 starts) and tallied 33 tackles (22 solo), 1.0 sack and one fumble recovery. He was originally selected by Oakland in the second round (44th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.