INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts today officially began on-field preparations for Sunday's Week 17 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. What were some of the top takeaways on the day?
Here's today's injury report, the first of the week for the Colts:
Castonzo done for year
Colts head coach Frank Reich announced today that left tackle Anthony Castonzo is undergoing season-ending ankle surgery.
The 10th-year veteran suffered the injury during practice last Thursday, when he was already limited with a knee injury; Castonzo was initially ruled questionable for last Sunday's Week 16 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was then downgraded to out the following day.
With right tackle Braden Smith (Reserve/COVID-19 list) also out last Sunday against the Steelers, the team had to reach deep into its depth at the tackle position. The Colts started second-year veteran Will Holden at left tackle and fourth-year Florida product Chaz Green at right tackle, but Holden, himself, would suffer an ankle injury during the game and did not return. He was replaced at left tackle by seventh-year veteran J'Marcus Webb.
Smith today was officially brought back to the active roster, which certainly helps the situation at right tackle, but because Holden is already being ruled out this Sunday against the Jaguars, according to Reich, the team has a couple options at left tackle moving forward.
Green, of course, is a reserve option at the position, but left guard Quenton Nelson is also a candidate to slide over to left tackle if needed. Rookie Danny Pinter, who is primarily a guard/center, also played right tackle his final two years at Ball State.
The Colts also currently have four offensive linemen on their practice squad: tackles Webb and Carter O'Donnell, and guards Jake Eldrenkamp and Sam Jones. Center Joey Hunt remains on the Practice Squad/COVID-19 list.
"We're worked through that," Reich said today when asked about the plan at left tackle moving forward. "We're going to practice it out, so to speak, this week, just to kind of confirm the plan. I'm not going to go into that right now for competitive advantage reasons, but we do have a Plan A and a Plan B. We'll work those out in practice this week, and we have a way that we are leaning towards going; we want to practice it out and then kind of wrap it up and confirm it on Friday."
Castonzo, who signed a new two-year deal this offseason, ends his 2020 season having started 12 games at left tackle; he suffered a knee injury early in the second quarter of the Colts' Week 12 loss to the Tennessee Titans, and ended up missing the following week's road victory over the Houston Texans.
Reich said the injury — and corresponding surgery — to Castonzo's right ankle is not believed to be career-ending.