Colts linebacker Trent Cole placed on injured reserve

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Trent Cole #58 of the Indianapolis Colts makes a sack on Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 29, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis defeated Tampa Bay 25-12. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Yet another free-agent investment has failed to provide the anticipated dividends for the Indianapolis Colts.

The team placed linebacker Trent Cole on injured reserve Tuesday. He played in two games this season, including Sunday’s win over San Diego, but has regularly been listed on the injury report with a back issue.

Coach Chuck Pagano revealed Cole aggravated a lingering back injury against the Chargers, adding “more than likely (he’s) going to have to have a procedure done. It’s a shame.

“Trent’s a warrior. He’s a great player. He gives us so much in both the run and pass game. You can’t replace guys like Trent Cole.’’

The remaining pass-rush ‘backers on the roster are Robert Mathis, Erik Walden, Akeem Ayers and rookie Curt Maggitt.

Cole is one of general manager Ryan Grigson’s many veteran free agents who have fallen well short of expectations. He signed a two-year, $14 million contract during the 2015 offseason.

For that hefty investment, Cole appeared in 16 games with five starts, but his significant contributions were modest at best: three sacks and seven quarterback hits. In Sunday’s win over the Chargers, Cole was on the field for 31 of the 51 defensive snaps and was credited with one assisted tackle.

The team signed Cole to upgrade its pass rush, which never happened. He had 85.5 sacks in 10 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, including four seasons with at least 10.

Cole is the latest free-agent pickup that hasn’t provided bang for the buck. He joins safety LaRon Landry, wide receiver Andre Johnson, offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus and defensive linemen Art Jones and Ricky Jean Francois. That group signed contracts that included more than $60 million in guarantees.

Jones is the suspended list and eligible to return following Sunday’s trip to London.

Along with placing Cole on injured reserve, the team once again shuffled its practice squad. It released safety Lee Hightower and signed guard Adam Redmond.