Colts’ notebook: Knee injury keeps Anthony Castonzo off the practice field
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Thursday’s injury report could easily have been overshadowed by the Indianapolis Colts placing quarterback Andrew Luck on the season-ending injured reserve list.
But one name stands out: Anthony Castonzo.
The team’s durable starting left tackle missed a second consecutive practice with a knee injury, drawing into question his availability for Sunday’s meeting with the Texans in Houston.
“I think you always worry about it when they haven’t practiced,’’ general manager Chris Ballard said. “We’ll have a little more information in a couple of days.’’
Castonzo started in Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati and there was no indication he had suffered an injury. Chuck Pagano made no mention that Castonzo would miss practice when he met with the media Wednesday prior to practice.
The 2011 first-round draft pick has been an offensive line mainstay. He has started 97 regular-season games, including 66 straight. Castonzo has missed only seven games in his seven-game career: four in ’11 with an ankle injury and three in ’15 with a sprained knee ligament.
“It’s really odd not having him out there,’’ guard Jeremy Vujnovich said of Castonzo’s absence at practice.
If the unspecified knee injury keeps Castonzo out of the Texans game, the Colts once again will find themselves in scramble mode along the offensive line.
And that would be nothing new. Injuries and performance have resulted in Indy using 42 difference offensive line combinations in 88 regular-season games since Luck’s arrival in 2012.
The shuffling this season – four different combinations – has had the expected results. The Colts have allowed a league-high 33 sacks, including 29 against Jacoby Brissett.
It’s anybody’s guess how the Colts would compensate for losing Castonzo. They added offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell to the active roster from the practice squad Thursday.
Possible options include moving Vujnovich from left guard to left tackle and starting Kyle Kalis at left guard; starting Le’Raven Clark at left tackle and having Kalis start at left guard, or flipping right tackle Joe Haeg to left tackle and putting Clark back at right tackle.
Vujnovich might make the most sense. He’s all eight games at left guard, but saw limited work at left tackle in the preseason game against Detroit.
“I’ve moved around so much I can’t really remember what happened,’’ Vujnovich.
Looking for QB depth:
The Colts have explored their options at addressing depth at quarterback this week, and were rebuffed by the Philadelphia Eagles.
They attempted to sign former Indiana University QB Nate Sudfeld off Philadelphia’s practice squad, but the Eagles squelched that when they signed him to their active roster.
“It was a combination to make sure you had enough depth at that position because Jacoby had taken some shots in games and we like Nate Sudfeld,’’ Ballard said.
Sudfeld would have represented a healthy QB behind Brissett and backup Scott Tolzien.
Along with trying to sign Sudfeld, the Colts reportedly had tryouts this week with Josh Johnson, Matt Barkley, Matt McGloin and Connor Shaw.