The Colts signed wide receiver Deion Branch on Monday, less than a week before Indianapolis will take on Branch's former team, the New England Patriots. In addition to signing Branch, Indianapolis placed Greg Toler and Fili Moala on injured reserve, according to Kevin Bowen of Colts.com.
The 34-year-old Branch hasn't been on a roster since last season. He worked out for the Colts in early December and Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Branch has proven he can play at a high level.
"I don't see how it could hurt you. We all know that he's more than capable of making plays," Branch said, via Kevin Bowen.
Branch has been out of football since the Patriots' loss to Baltimore in the playoffs last season. Having been away for nearly a year, it's hard to expect him to play a significant role on the field against his former team on Saturday. He could, however, contribute in other ways. His familiarity with the Patriots might help Indianapolis and his veteran presence with a very young group of receivers could be a positive. Reggie Wayne is still around the team, despite a knee injury, but another experienced player can't help. Outside of running back Donald Brown, every player who caught a pass for Indianapolis last week was either a first or second-year player.
Toler landed on injured reserve due to a troublesome groin injury. The veteran cornerback missed seven games during the regular season. He returned to play very limited snaps in the final two regular season games and suited up for the playoff game on Saturday. Pagano said Toler aggravated the injury against the Chiefs and the Colts were forced to shut him down for the season.