INDIANAPOLIS – Do not let the snap count fool you, the Colts lost a key depth piece in Joe Haeg on Friday morning.
That only adds to the importance in the Colts finding some quality offensive line depth this offseason.
The recruiting angle of competing for a starting job was something the Colts could never offer Haeg, and that led to the versatile offensive lineman signing a one-year deal with the Buccaneers on Friday morning. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported Haeg joining the Bucs.
Haeg was the top offensive line reserve for the Colts, starting at three different spots, and practicing at all 5 positions during his four seasons in Indianapolis.
Even though Haeg was never needed as a starter in 2019—thanks to the incredible and rare health of the starting offensive line—he still had a key spot on the team’s 53-man roster.
In 2019, Haeg played just 74 offensive snaps in 2019 (a little more than 4 per game).
That isn’t a knock on Haeg, it’s just that the Colts had no room for him, outside of an occasional in-game sub, or a play or two as an extra lineman.
A 5th round pick of the Colts in 2016, Haeg started 29 of 31 games played in his first two seasons, and made 6 starts in 2018.
With Chris Ballard committing more resources to the offensive line, Haeg fell out of the starting lineup, but he still had an important role, just one play away from seeing a huge increase in playing time.
Losing Haeg is notable, with the Colts also having fellow reserve offensive linemen in Le’Raven Clark and Josh Andrews both currently on the open market as free agents.
Currently, the Colts have zero backup offensive lineman who has played an NFL snap in Indianapolis.
The Colts know the offensive line health they had last year was beyond a dream.
Adding O-line depth remains a priority for Indy, and it needs to be given the extra reliance on that group to hold up with an immobile Philip Rivers under center.