Colts sign former Packers QB Scott Tolzien to back up Andrew Luck

Scott Tolzien has not started a game since 2013, when he made two starts in place of an injured Aaron Rodgers. Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS -- Signing a backup quarterback usually isn't a big deal. But that's not the case for the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts made their first free-agent signing of the NFL year when they agreed to a deal with former Green Bay Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien on Friday to back up starter Andrew Luck next season.

“We looked at a number of quarterbacks during this process and we felt Scott fit us on a number of levels,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement. “He is a young, highly intelligent, tough and driven individual who we feel possesses a lot of potential.”

The Colts needed a backup after Luck missed nine games due to injury last season and they decided against re-signing 40-year-old veteran Matt Hasselbeck and to release Josh Freeman earlier this week. That left Luck and the unproven Stephen Morris, who has never taken an NFL snap, as the only two quarterbacks on the roster for Indianapolis, which used five different quarterbacks last season because of an assortment of injuries.

Tolzien has not started a game since 2013, when he made two starts during Aaron Rodgers' absence with his broken collarbone. After serving as the No. 3 quarterback in 2014, he replaced Matt Flynn as the primary backup last season.

He took only 10 snaps during the regular season, none of them in a meaningful competitive situation, after signing a one-year, $1.35 million contract last offseason.

Last year in the preseason, Tolzien showed he’s progressed significantly since 2013. Tolzien was 28-of-46 passing for 250 yards with two touchdowns and one interception (an 80.9 passer rating) in preseason games.