INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are looking to replace a starter along the offensive line.
The team today placed starting right guard Matt Slauson on injured reserve. In a corresponding move, the team signed center/guard Evan Boehm to their active roster off the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad.
It’s immediately unknown what injury led to Slauson’s placement on IR. The 10-year NFL veteran, who started the Colts’ first five games at right guard, played all 83 offensive snaps, and five special teams snaps, in Thursday night’s game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Slauson was one of 16 Colts players who did not participate in the early portion of today’s practice that was available to be viewed by the media. Head coach Frank Reich is next scheduled to speak to the media on Wednesday.
Slauson had a solid performance against the Patriots, as his 75.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus was the fifth-highest among all guards in Week 5. He allowed just two quarterback hurries/pressures on the night, and helped keep quarterback Andrew Luck’s jersey clean as the team worked back from a large deficit to cut the New England lead to just seven points early into the fourth quarter.
Slauson’s loss is another challenge for a Colts offensive line that has dealt with plenty of injuries and other issues since the start of training camp. The team is yet to see the 2018 debut of starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury since before camp, while J’Marcus Webb, who started out the season as the starting right tackle, was placed on IR after Week 1 with a knee injury.
Then, Joe Haeg, who took over at right tackle, suffered an ankle injury Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles and was also placed on IR.
Finally, Denzelle Good, who was able to return from his own injuries in time to fill in for Haeg at right tackle Week 4 against the Houston Texans, has been with his family in South Carolina since early last week, when his brother, Overton, was tragically killed.
Rookie Braden Smith filled in for Haeg at right tackle against the Patriots and “exceeded expectations,” especially given the circumstances, Reich said today, but is also a candidate to start at right guard in place of Slauson.
Other candidates at either right guard or right tackle include Mark Glowinski and, depending on when Castonzo is able to return, Le’Raven Clark, who has started the last four games at left tackle.
Another candidate will be Boehm, who has played in 31 career games (nine starts) in his time with the Rams (2018) and Arizona Cardinals (2016-17). The 6-3, 310-pound Missouri product had spent the entire 2018 season on Los Angeles’ practice squad after being signed on Sept. 4.
Boehm participated in the Cardinals’ 2018 offseason program and training camp before being waived on September 2. He was originally selected by Arizona in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.
In 2017, Boehm played in 15 games for the Cardinals with eight starts at right guard. As a rookie in 2016, he saw action in all 16 games and started the season finale at right guard.