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Ryan Lindley's release brings number of Colts QBs down to three

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts started shortening their depth at quarterback when they released Ryan Lindley on Tuesday.

You’re excused if you don't recognize Lindley’s name. That’s because the Colts signed him in Week 17 after they lost fellow quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst to season-ending injuries.

Lindley split time with Josh Freeman in the Colts’ season finale against Tennessee. Lindley was 6-of-10 for 58 yards and a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson.

The release of Lindley leaves Luck, Freeman and Stephen Morris as the quarterbacks currently under contract for the Colts. The 40-year-old Hasselbeck is about to become a free agent and he’s yet to make an announcement on whether he plans to play another season. Hasselbeck had a 5-3 record, threw for 1,690 yards and nine touchdowns as a starter in place of Luck last season.

Freeman, like Lindley, was signed in Week 17. He was 15-of-28 for 149 yards with a touchdown and interception against the Titans. It'll be interesting to see if Freeman, a first-round pick in 2009, did enough in his short period with the Colts to prove he's capable of being Luck's backup next season.

The Colts signed Morris off Philadelphia’s practice squad in Week 16.

The Colts would ideally like for Luck, who missed seven games with rib, kidney, abdominal and shoulder injuries last season, to take every meaningful snap next season.