Branch, 34, hasn't played a snap all season, but worked out for the Colts last month. His most recent NFL catch came with the Patriots in last year's AFC title game loss to the Baltimore Ravens. After New England drafted Branch in 2002, he signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the Seahawks before Seattle traded him back to the Patriots midway through the 2010 campaign.
The team also elevated receiver Josh Lenz to the active roster from the practice squad, released defensive tackle Christian Tupou and placed defensive end Fili Moala and cornerback Greg Toler on injured reserve. Toler's groin injury played a role in the corner being fried by Chiefs wideout Donnie Avery in Indy's wild-card win over Kansas City.