INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have added a fourth arm to their quarterback room.
The team today announced the signing of free agent Chad Kelly, who recently tried out for the team during its rookie minicamp. In a corresponding move, the Colts waived defensive tackle Jordan Thompson.
Kelly, 25, was a seventh-round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss, where he was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2015 after completing 298-of-458 passing attempts (65.1 percent) for 4,042 yards with 31 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
He was once again a second-team All-SEC selection as a senior, despite the fact he suffered a season-ending knee injury in November of that year; he connected on 205-of-328 passes (62.5 percent) for 2,758 yards with 19 touchdowns to eight interceptions in nine games.
Kelly missed his first NFL season as he recovered from a wrist injury, but turned in a quality performance last preseason, completing 40-of-60 passes for 466 yards with three touchdowns to two interceptions. He appeared in one game for the Broncos in the 2018 regular season — ending the first half of their Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams with a quarterback kneel — before being released by the team on Oct. 24.
Kelly will get a chance to develop under the likes of head coach Frank Reich, position coach Marcus Brady and a talented, veteran quarterback room that includes starter Andrew Luck and backup Jacoby Brissett, as well as Phillip Walker.
The Colts last year kept four quarterbacks — Luck, Brissett, Walker and Brad Kaaya — on their offseason roster through training camp and the preseason; Luck and Brissett were eventually kept on the regular-season roster, Walker spent most of the season on the Colts’ practice squad and Kaaya was placed on injured reserve in late-August and was waived in February.