Colts lose another receiver as Moorehead goes on IR

Updated: November 20, 2007, 8:58 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

An already-thin Indianapolis receiving corps took another hit Tuesday when the Colts were forced to place five-year veteran wideout Aaron Moorehead on injured reserve because of a back injury suffered in Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Moorehead, 27, had started the last two games in place of eight-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who remains sidelined by a knee injury.

The loss of Moorhead, who had eight receptions for 65 yards in six appearances this season, could further impact an Indianapolis passing attack that has struggled at times in Harrison's absence. And it places further pressure on Pro Bowl wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who has 63 catches for 945 yards and six touchdowns, despite consistently drawing double coverage.

While Moorehead never posted big numbers -- he has only 31 receptions for 330 yards and one touchdown in 36 career games -- he is a veteran who is well-schooled in the Indianapolis offense and who has been an effective role player.

The Colts are hopeful that rookie Anthony Gonzalez, who has missed three games with a thumb injury, will be able to return for the Thanksgiving night game at Atlanta. The team's first-round draft choice, Gonzalez has 15 catches for 207 yards in seven appearances and, if healthy, could see his playing time dramatically increased.

If Gonzalez doesn't play on Thursday, the Colts would have to go with Craphonso Thorpe and Devin Aromashodu, a pair of inexperienced wideouts. The Colts like to use a lot of two-tight end formations but have been forced to rely on that alignment even more with Harrison out of the lineup.

In last Sunday's victory, quarterback Peyton Manning threw for only 163 yards.

To fill Moorehead's spot on the roster, Indianapolis re-signed defensive tackle Dan Klecko. The Colts released Klecko last week when they were forced to shuffle their roster to address injuries on their offensive line.

Klecko, 26, is a five-year veteran who has appeared in 39 games, with 37 tackles and two sacks. He also occasionally aligns at tight end in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer with ESPN.com.