Indianapolis Colts sign former Patriots receiver Deion Branch before game in New England

The Indianapolis Colts have a depth problem at receiver, and the one they signed Monday just happens to know a little something about this weekend's opponent.

Deion Branch, who hasn't played in the 2013 season and last suited up last season for the New England Patriots, will be on the Colts' roster in advance of Saturday's divisional round playoff game between the two teams on Saturday.

Branch was a second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2002 and spent his first four seasons with the team, winning two Super Bowls (and one Super Bowl MVP award), before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks. He spent five injury-plagued seasons there before signing with the Patriots during the 2010 season and spending parts of the next three seasons there.

The Patriots let Branch walk as a free agent this past offseason in a youth movement at receiver that has been something of a mixed bag.

In the corresponding move, the Colts placed cornerback Greg Toler on injured reserve. It's likely that Darrius Heyward-Bey, who suffered a hamstring injury covering a punt Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, might not be able to play at New England.

So will Branch trade vital Patriots secrets to the Colts? It's unlikely he can help immensely, but he might be able to assist with some of Tom Brady's tendencies — after all, Brady and Branch have said they share an almost cosmic link.

It is not known if Branch will suit up Saturday, but Branch has faced his longtime team once before.

Or maybe, as I jokingly suggested on Twitter, Branch is being sent in as a Trojan Horse by Bill Belichick with misinformation for the Colts to digest. Hey, can you rule it out?

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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