INDIANAPOLIS – Last year, Tony Ugoh lost his starting job. On Wednesday, he was simply out of a job.
The offensive lineman the Colts once projected as their left tackle of the future was placed on the waived-injured list after missing practice with an undisclosed foot injury. To take his spot, the Colts claimed another offensive lineman, Joe Reitz, off waivers from Miami.
Colts players and coach Jim Caldwell were not available after practice to comment on the move, but are expected to talk about it Thursday.
Ugoh's future with the Colts had been in doubt since Caldwell demoted Ugoh from starter to backup during training camp last season. Charlie Johnson replaced Ugoh in the lineup and started 12 times with Ugoh starting the other four.
When camp opened this summer, the Colts had hoped Ugoh would win the starting job at left guard.
He barely got a chance. Johnson sprained his right foot the first week of training camp, forcing the Colts to put Ugoh back in his old spot. Ugoh spent the rest of the preseason at left tackle.
When Johnson returned to practice Wednesday, the first time he'd worked out with his teammates since Aug. 6, the Colts wasted little time in parting ways with the 6-foot-5, 301-pound Arkansas alum.
Indy traded up to take Ugoh with the 42nd overall pick in 2007, and Colts President Bill Polian said then that he expected Ugoh to become the eventual replacement for longtime left tackle Tarik Glenn.
Glenn, however, retired unexpectedly that summer, handing the starting job to Ugoh.
As a rookie, Ugoh started 11 games, missing five with injuries, with a unit that allowed only 23 sacks. He started 12 of 15 games in 2008, when the Colts allowed only 14 sacks, but with the Colts ground game averaging only 3.4 yards per carry, Ugoh became a target for criticism.
Caldwell finally made the change at training camp.
Reitz spent part of the 2008 season and all of 2009 on the Ravens' practice squad after signing with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent. He grew up in Fishers, a suburb of Indianapolis, and played prep ball at Hamilton Southeastern. He also was the first player from Hamilton Southeastern to make the Indiana All-Star team in basketball.