Colts center Ryan Kelly out Sunday with knee injury; ACL still intact
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It could have been so much worse, and Ryan Kelly knew it.
As the Indianapolis Colts’ center remained on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf Sunday, his mind briefly considered a worst-case scenario as he reached for his left knee.
“We were on a double team and I guess somebody got blocked from the left and kind of got thrown on the inside of my knee,’’ Kelly said Wednesday. “I was worried. I’ve had knee surgery on that before when I was in high school.
“I was worried about the ACL, but that’s intact. It’s reassuring.’’
A magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) test taken Monday revealed Kelly suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament. At the very least it will keep him out of Sunday’s game with Miami.
The Colts have shipped Kelly’s MRI out for a second opinion, and that might determine the length of Kelly’s absence.
“Pretty much standard protocol to send it out, make sure everybody’s on the same page,’’ Kelly said. “That first week is probably a big indication of how long it’s going to take. I feel good. I feel a lot better than I did Sunday and Monday.
“Just keep going day by day and see how it feels. I think it’s in a good spot where a brace can help. It’s definitely hard for offensive linemen. MCL’s are pretty common, but I trust our trainers to do everything they can to get me back out there . . . whether it’s tape and a brace or whatever I’ve got to do.
“I don’t want to miss much time.’’
Frank Reich announced Monday Kelly likely “would miss a little bit of time,’’ but added the team would monitor his progress.
What did the team learn over the last few days?
“He’s not Superman,’’ Reich said. “He couldn’t heal himself in a day. Really all we learned is he won’t be ready to go this week.’’
The Colts will go with Evan Boehm for however long Kelly is out. Boehm was signed off the Los Angeles Rams practice squad Oct. 9, and has subbed for Kelly twice.
Kelly insisted he’ll help Boehm in whatever way possible, but added, “you don’t want to step on his toes. It’s like, ‘It’s your show.’ At center, that’s a position where you have to take command of that offensive line.
“But since day 1 he got here, he’s been an incredible guy, just asking questions. A lot of time it can be an ego thing (where), ‘I know it all.’ But he’s just been a great team player. Every time I come to the sideline after a big score he’s always the first one to fist-bump me, so I plan on doing that for him.
“I have the utmost confidence in him. You’ve got to let him go out there and play.
The Colts’ offensive line has set a team record by not allowing a sack in five straight games.
Boehm insisted that streak of efficiency “is not going to fall off on my watch.’’
Another record for Vinatieri
Adam Vinatieri already has set all-time NFL records this season for most points (2,561) and made field goals (574).
Sunday, he added another by participating in his 210th regular-season victory. That one-upped George Blanda.
Frank Reich took a few minutes during Wednesday’s team meeting to provide context to Vinatieri’s latest achievement.
“I said to a couple of the rookies, ‘Imagine if you had a 13-year career, that would be pretty awesome. Imagine if you went 16-0 for 13 straight years,’’’ he said. “I said, ‘Can you imagine that? That would be pretty incredible, right?’
“I said, ‘You would still be chasing Vinny for the most wins in a regular season. That’s incredible.’ So just a shout out to Vinny for breaking that record this past week. I think that is pretty special.’’
Reich’s point was to implore his players – young and old – to mirror Vinatieri’s approach.
“We talk a lot about a winning mindset and I am just really glad we’ve got one of the guys who truly epitomizes what a winning mindset is all about,’’ he said.
Vinatieri, 45, is the NFL’s oldest active player and in his 23rd season. He considers the win record as “more about team accomplishments, being on good teams for a bunch of years. If you play on a team that doesn’t win many games you’re nowhere near that.
“It’s kind of a cool thing to think about . . . I didn’t even know that record even existed.’’
In Vinatieri’s previous 22 seasons, the Colts and Patriots posted a winning record 16 times and reached the playoffs on 15 occasions.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.