Colts shuffle line after Castonzo’s season-ending injury

Sports

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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The Colts will be looking at another new offensive line combination for their season finale Sunday after losing left tackle Anthony Castonzo for the season. An ankle injury suffered during practice last week needed surgery, so the most irreplaceable Colt will now have to be replaced. Castonzo’s lost games to rib and knee issues this season, but it’s a unique injury that the head coach couldn’t even explain.  

    “It’s something different that I have not heard before to be honest with you,” said head coach Frank Reich. “The good news is we feel good about the procedure. It’s not anything that is career-ending or anything like that, but it is a funky kind of injury that I had not been aware about before.”  

     The good news? Right tackle Braden Smith, who along with Castonzo missed last Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh was activated off the COVID reserve list and will play, but what the line combination will look like is anyone’s guess.

   “We’ve worked through that. We are going to practice it out so to speak this week just to kind of confirm the plan. I’m not going to go into that right now for competitive advantage reasons, but we do have a plan A) and a plan B). We’ll work those out in practice this week. We have a way that we are leaning towards going – want to practice it out and then kind of wrap it up and confirm it on Friday.”

   Newcomer Will Holden is injured, and the Colts will sign veteran free agent Jared Veldheer, so he could play left tackle, or Quenton Nelson could move there with Ball State rookie Danny Pinter sliding into the left guard position. Not ideal, with a playoff berth riding on Sunday’s finale.

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