INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League announced that seventh-round draft pick and Upper Peninsula native Jake Witt has been placed on the injured reserve list.
That was according to the ColtsWire website affiliated with The Indianapolis Star newspaper in that Indiana city.
The website said the announcement was made by the Colts last Saturday due to a hip injury sustained by this former Northern Michigan University football player, Michigan Tech basketball player and Ewen-Trout Creek High School graduate who is a native of Bruce Crossing.
Witt, 23, will have to sit out the entire 2023 season because he was placed on IR before the team’s 53-man roster was finalized, according to ColtsWire, available at coltswire.usatoday.com.
Before his injury during the first week of training camp, Witt was working with the second-team offense at the key offensive line position of left tackle, ColtsWire said.
Witt is the second Colts draft pick to suffer a season-ending injury after safety Daniel Scott tore his ACL during off-season OTAs.
Among the other moves the Colts made last Saturday included signing tight ends Nick Eubanks and Michael Jacobson and waiving running back Toriano Clinton.
Witt was somewhat of a surprise pick by the Colts as one of just two NCAA Division II players chosen in the draft’s seven rounds in April.
He was picked 236th overall after having played on the offensive line for less than two full seasons at NMU. The other D-II player taken in the draft was punter Ethan Evans of Wingate, 13 spots ahead of Witt also in the seventh round.
Witt, the first Wildcats player chosen in the NFL draft since 1991, began his collegiate sports career on the men’s basketball team at MTU, then decided after two seasons to switch both sports and schools, transferring to NMU and becoming a football player.
Even once he got on the gridiron, he began with the Wildcats as a tight end before switching to the O-line in 2021 because of a manpower shortage at that position during his first year with NMU.
The Colts, who list Witt at 6-foot-7 and 302 pounds, signed him to a four-year contract reportedly worth just short of $4 million a few weeks after the draft in early May, according to the website spotrac.com, which touts itself as the largest online sports team and player contract resource on the internet.
Despite his relative inexperience compared to most college football players, Witt said that his explosiveness and athleticism for an athlete his size were major attributes that teams including the Colts said they most liked about Witt in the run-up to the draft.