Colts in need of a backup quarterback after releasing Josh Freeman

INDIANAPOLIS -- What might have been lost on a day when Peyton Manning announced his retirement after 18 years in the NFL and Dwayne Allen received a four-year contract extension Monday was that the Indianapolis Colts are short players when it comes to backup quarterback.

The Colts released quarterback Josh Freeman on Monday. The Colts recently told 40-year-old quarterback Matt Hasselbeck that they weren’t going to re-sign him. That leaves Andrew Luck and Stephen Morris as the only two quarterbacks on the roster.

The Colts signed Freeman in Week 17 last season. He started and went 15 of 28 for 149 yards and a touchdown in the regular-season finale against Tennessee. It appeared Freeman would get a shot to back up Luck next season.

“The job Josh did in orchestrating that win over Tennessee was phenomenal,” coach Chuck Pagano said during the combine. “The roster’s fluid. We’re going to continue to look at it and we’ll see if Josh is going to play. Right now, [with a] 90-man roster, we’re probably going to have Josh around to sit there and compete.”

The Colts could try to re-sign Charlie Whitehurst, whose season ended in Week 16 with a groin injury, or look outside to bring in a backup behind Luck.