Indianapolis Colts Sign Guard Trai Essex; Release Person and Shipley

Brian Goldsmith@coldy4goldyContributor IIISeptember 11, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Trai Essex #79 of the Pittsburgh Steelers lines up against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson saw his franchise quarterback take far too many shots in Week 1. Andrew Luck was sacked three times. That number would have been higher if any other rookie quarterback was playing behind this offensive line against the Bears.

Luck did a good job of avoiding the seemingly constant pressure, but the Colts will not win many games if their quarterback doesn't have adequate time in the pocket.

Monday, the Colts took a step to remedy the offensive line issues by signing former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex. The Colts also released tackle Mike Person (who was just picked up off waivers from the 49ers) and center A.Q. Shipley.

Essex knows the offense from his time in Pittsburgh with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. He can play all five positions across the line. With guard Joe Reitz probably out another week, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts Sunday at the Colts home opener against the Vikings. Seth Olsen, who filled in for Reitz, induced a lot of head shaking to say the least.

After adding Essex and releasing Person and Shipley, the Colts have one open roster spot. They could very well add another offensive lineman this week. The line's performance against the Bears was that bad. Add to that the unknown status of RT Winston Justice, and they could definitely use another lineman.

UPDATE:  Jim Irsay announced via Twitter that the Colts have signed OT Bradley Sowell from Tampa Bay's practice squad.  Sowell will fill the open roster position. The Bucs originally signed him as an undrafted free agent earlier this year.

Follow Brian on Twitter @coldy4goldy.

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