Sources for the Indianapolis Star are reporting that the knee injury Colts rookie second round pick Ben Ijalana sustained in last night's 24-17 loss to the Buccaneers was an ACL tear. If so, Ijalana's season is likely over before it really even began.
The former Villanova left tackle was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Colts after they moved up in Round Two in a trade with the Washington Redskins. Ijalana played left tackle in college, but the Colts planed to move him to right tackle. Against the Bucs last night, an ankle injury to 2011 first rounder Anthony Castonzo, who is the Colts current starting left tackle, forced Ijalana into the role of protecting quarterback Curtis Painter's blindside.
On his weekly radio show Tuesday night, Colts vice chairman Bill Polian did not provide any news or updates on the health of Ijalana, saying only that the rookie 'grew up before our eyes' when he spelled Castonzo last night in Tampa.
If Ijalana is done for 2011, this is yet another crippling injury in a season defined by injuries. Already, team captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt are listed on the Injured Reserve list, and quarterback Peyton Manning will likely miss all of 2011 after neck surgery this past August.