Concussion will keep Ryan Kelly out of lineup vs. Jags, force Colts to shuffle O-line (again)
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Another week, more shuffling along the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line.
Center Ryan Kelly has been all but ruled out of Sunday’s rematch with the Jaguars in Jacksonville with a concussion, opening the door for Mike Person to make his first start since 2015.
Kelly was diagnosed with a concussion at halftime of Sunday’s loss to Tennessee and immediately went into the NFL’s concussion protocol. He apparently continued to experience symptoms this week.
Chuck Pagano said he has “zero confidence’’ Kelly will be cleared for the Jaguars game.
“To be quite frank with you, if you get concussed on a Sunday and if you’re still symptomatic on Monday or Tuesday and Wednesday, there’s not enough days (to go through the protocol),’’ Pagano said.
With Kelly out, the Colts will turn to Person. He replaced Kelly for the second half against the Titans and also for the second half of the Oct. 22 meeting with the Jaguars when Kelly was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
“It sucks about Ryan, but I’m going to take it with both hands and run with it,’’ Person said. “Just go out there and play football as fast as I can and help everyone get on the same page.’’
Person, 29, is on his second tour with the Colts. They claimed him off waivers from San Francisco Sept. 1, 2012 only to release him nine days later. He was signed as a free agent early last month and has appeared in the last seven games.
Sunday, though, marks his first start since he started 14 games for Atlanta in 2015.
Person becomes the third starting center for the Colts this season, following Kelly and rookie Deyshawn Bond. His insertion into the lineup also means the team will turn to its seventh different starting combination this season and 45th since 2012.
Pagano insisted he was “confident, really confident’’ in the offensive line even though it has allowed a league-high 47 sacks this season, including 28 in the last five games. Jacksonville dominated the Colts’ pass protection with 10 sacks in the first meeting.
Normally evasive when asked about which players might start at certain positions during the week, Pagano erased any doubt about Sunday’s lineup. He offered a by-the-numbers projection.
“71 will start at right tackle, 73 at right guard, 72 at center, 67 at left guard, 74 at left tackle . . . 62 will be next-man-up and, uh, we need a backup center,’’ Pagano said. “The Italian Stallion we just signed, (Anthony) Fabiano . . . probably will be the next one to come up.’’
To make certain everyone can put a name with a number, the starting offensive line at Jacksonville, from right to left: Denzelle Good, Joe Haeg, Person, Jeremy Vujnovich and Anthony Castonzo. The next man up: Le’Raven Clark.
Next year for Swoope
Tight end Erik Swoope’s fourth season with the Colts will end with him remaining on the injured reserve list.
“He’s not going to make it, unfortunately for Erik,’’ Pagano said. “We did what was best for the player and best for the team; most importantly for Erik and his recovery and health.’’
Swoope has been on IR since undergoing knee surgery during the preseason, However, he had practiced the last two weeks and was optimistic he would be added to the active roster by this week, which was the deadline for that transaction to be made.
“He just didn’t make the progress we thought he was going to make,’’ Pagano said. “He’s close, but we would never put him out there unless he could go out there and be 100 percent.
“The best thing for Swoopey right now is to go down and continue to rehab and strengthen that thing and get ready for next year.’’
Swoope was signed as a rookie free agent in May 2014 after excelling as a power forward with the University of Miami basketball team. He spent the bulk of two seasons on the practice squad before making his NFL debut in the ’15 season finale against Tennessee. He appeared in all 16 games last season and finished with 15 catches, 297 yards and one TD.
Cornerback Rashaan Melvin will miss the Jaguars game after the first metatarsal on his first hand in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee. His absence is expected to be brief.
When might Melvin return?
“Knowing Rashaan, I’m guessing next week,’’ Pagano said. “Fortunately it didn’t require surgery.’’
When Melvin returns, he’ll have some type of pad on his right hand.