Colts’ Jack Mewhort expected to miss 2-4 weeks with knee injury
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The worst-case scenario has been avoided by Jack Mewhort.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay used his Twitter account Sunday afternoon to announce initial test results revealed his starting left guard is expected to miss two-to-four weeks and surgery won’t be required to address a knee injury suffered in Saturday night’s preseason game with the Philadelphia Eagles.
NFL.com, citing sources, reported Saturday night “it’s believed’’ Mewhort suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Tweeted Irsay: “Mewhort 2-4 weeks/No Surgery (Initial test results); plenty of work to do for this new Coaching Staff and new infusion of Player additions.’’
Mewhort appeared to injure his right knee on the Colts’ final drive of the second quarter. He finished the drive, but was favoring his knee.
Losing Mewhort for the Sept. 11 season opener against the Detroit Lions is a blow to the Colts’ offense, but it certainly beats the alternative of him suffering a season-ending injury. The 2014 second-round draft pick has established himself as a mainstay in a short period of time. He started 30 of 32 regular-season games and three playoff games.
Before learning the outcome of Mewhort’s magnetic resonance imaging test, left tackle Anthony Castonzo made it clear his cohort’s loss would be felt.
“I’d be lying if I said I personally am not going to miss him next to me,’’ he said after the game. “. . . we’ve got guys who can step in and get the job done. But that being said, we’ll definitely miss Jack if he’s out for any significant time.’’
The most likely option moving forward until Mewhort returns is replacing him with backup center Jon Harrison. It’s possible the Colts will turn to rookie Joe Haeg, but his status remains uncertain after he suffered an ankle injury against Baltimore.
Mewhort’s injury is the latest to impact the offensive line.
Starting right tackle Joe Reitz missed the Eagles game after experiencing tightness in his back during practice late last week. And projected starting right guard Hugh Thornton has missed significant time with an injury to his right foot. He still has a protective boot on the foot and recently has used a scooter to help navigate the locker room.
Currently, the starting line would consist of Castonzo at left tackle, Harrison at left guard, rookie Ryan Kelly at center, Denzelle Good at right guard and Reitz at right tackle.
Good’s experience consists of four starts at right tackle in 2015.
The offensive line was having a bad night before Mewhort suffered his injury. Quarterback Andrew Luck was sacked three times and hit on another six occasions while dropping back 21 times in the first half.
“It’s always concerning every time he’s on the ground,’’ Castonzo said. “We want to limit the hits on him.’’
Coach Chuck Pagano had intended to have Luck play at least the first series of the third quarter, but changed his mind after witnessing the lack of protection over the first two quarters.
“Like I told them, I am disappointed like they are because we are better than that,’’ he said of his subpar performance by the O-line. “I know we can play better than that.
“Again, I’m not going to make any excuses, but . . . from a continuity standpoint it makes a difference having five guys in there that have been in there day-after-day and week-after-week playing together. You start playing musical chairs again and it’s tough.’’