INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts’ situation at left tackle has taken a turn for the worse.
Long-time offensive line mainstay Anthony Castonzo will undergo season-ending surgery on his right ankle Thursday, coach Frank Reich revealed Wednesday. Castonzo suffered the injury during practice last Thursday.
“We gave AC some time (with) the ankle thing,’’ Reich said on a Zoom conference call. “It’s not cooperating.’’
Reich was unable to elaborate on the nature of Castonzo’s ankle injury.
“It’s a funky kind of injury that I hadn’t been aware about before,’’ he said. “It’s not career-ending.’’
It’s worth noting the Colts are 3-12 when Castonzo has missed a game with an injury.
Also, Reich said right tackle Braden Smith, who missed Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list has been cleared to the active roster.
However, the situation at left tackle is full of uncertainly. Complicating things is Will Holden, who started at left tackle against the Steelers, will miss Sunday’s game with Jacksonville with an injury to his right ankle.
The only healthy natural tackles on the active roster are Chaz Green, J’Marcus Webb and rookie Danny Pinter, although Pinter has been working almost exclusively as center this season.
The options might include All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson. He stepped in briefly for Castonzo earlier this month at Las Vegas.
“It was only a handful of plays, but Quenton is the kind of player than when we put him out there . . . we feel like he’s such a great player that you can put him anywhere and he’s going to figure it out. He did a good job.
“Our goal is ‘What’s the best lineup for our team this Sunday? What’s the lineup to get the best five guys in there for the lineup this Sunday to win this game?’’’
Quarterback Philip Rivers said, “You just feel sick for AC going down like he did in a Thursday practice; maybe it as a matter of time before something happened.
“He’s had a heck of a year. Certainly will be missed.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.