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Is Gosder Cherilus Playing Hurt?

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Colts general manager Ryan Grigson spoke to the media today and mentioned that starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus is playing through some injuries.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson spoke to the media today as a midseason update, and he had several interesting comments which we'll be looking at shortly.  One such interesting topic related to right tackle Gosder Cherilus.

Grigson was asked about the starting right tackle, who has been playing very poorly this year after playing well a year ago.  "First of all, nobody was consistent last week," Grigson began.  "But I'll say he's been fighting through some things. He's tough as nails and sometimes that can be to his detriment because he wants to go out there if he's got a limb hanging. So we have to kind of try to watch what he does and monitor what he does so he can be ready and play at a high level. But like I said, it's a Catch-22 because he wants to be out there. He wants to be out there with his guys. He doesn't like sitting out. But he'll get those things cleaned up and everyone has some things to get cleaned up."

Interesting.  Basically, Grigson is saying that Cherilus has been playing hurt.  Asked whether it's something he'll be dealing with all season long, Grigson said that it's, "day by day, we'll look at this day by day."  He wasn't asked about the specifics of what the injury might be, but I think we may have an idea based on a recent injury report.  In week seven Cherilus appeared on the team's injury report with a knee injury, something that forced him to miss practice because of on one day that week.  Is that what Cherilus has been dealing with?  We don't know, but it's the best guess that we have since the general manager wasn't asked about what specifically the injury is.

Grigson's comments would seem to give some reason as to why Cherilus has been playing poorly this year.  Last year he was a very solid tackle on the right side of the line and, together with Anthony Castonzo, clearly made up the strength of the unit.  This year, Cherilus has been the weakest link and has been consistently beat this year.  Grigson was right in saying that many players were inconsistent last week, but in Cherilus' case he was consistent with the player he's been this year - a weakness on the offensive line and a bad player.  Perhaps a reason for his play has been the nagging issues he's been playing through, and that certainly gives some hope that he could improve when he gets healthy.

Ultimately, Cherilus has missed just one practice all year due to injury (but several others due to a veteran's rest day).  By not disclosing the lingering issues the right tackle has been fighting through the Colts have essentially let fans and media go on thinking that Cherilus just stinks as a player while, in fact, some of his struggles might be attributed to him playing hurt.  It's a strange situation, and it makes you wonder why he's only been on the injury report due to injury in one week of the season if he's been dealing with it for longer than that.  Again, he hasn't missed practice due to injury other than that week so that's not the issue, but it does seem strange that the Colts haven't really discussed it at all before today when Grigson talked.

Either way, it seems like Gosder Cherilus is not playing at 100%, and that may help to explain his struggles this season.  He was a full participant in practice today and it doesn't seem like that will change much anytime soon, but now we know that he's battling through some things.  That's admirable by him as he's surely playing in an effort to help the team, but unfortunately he hasn't been helping much this year.