Detroit added him to the roster Monday when it put wide receiver Mike Furrey on injured reserve because of a concussion.
Colbert was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 11, nearly two months after they acquired him from Denver for an undisclosed draft pick.
He had seven receptions and scored once in seven games for the Seahawks and didn't catch a pass in two games with the Broncos. Carolina drafted the former Southern California star in the second round and he had a career-high 47 receptions as a rookie in 2004.
Furrey caught 18 passes in nine games this season, two years after he had 98 receptions for the Lions.