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Colts rule starting center Khaled Holmes out for Monday's game vs. Panthers

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The Colts have officially ruled starting center Khaled Holmes out for the team's Monday Night Football game against the Panthers.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts will be without their starting center on Monday night, as Khaled Holmes (neck) has been ruled out for their game against the Carolina Panthers, as has wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (ankle) and inside linebacker Nate Irving (knee).  Safety Winston Guy is doubtful (shoulder), while safeties Mike Adams (hamstring) and Clayton Geathers (knee) are both probable.

Holmes didn't practice at all this week after leaving Sunday's game against the Saints with a burner, making it pretty clear that he wouldn't be available for Monday's game.  In his place, Jonotthan Harrison will make his first start of the season.  Harrison was an undrafted free agent signed by the Colts last year out of Florida and made 10 starts before being benched in favor of Holmes near the end of the season.  Though Harrison competed for the starting job this offseason, Holmes was the frontrunner all along and it never wavered throughout training camp and preseason.  Through the first seven games, Holmes hasn't really impressed with his play and has been a weakness up front, but he hasn't lost his starting spot yet - likely in part due to the Colts wanting to emphasize continuity this year and not repeat last year's charade of rotating centers.  But with Holmes hurt, this now gives the Colts an excuse to see Harrison play and see whether he can play better than Holmes has so far this year.  Either way, there's not likely to be much of a dropoff between Holmes and Harrison.

With that said, however, it's still not a good thing that Holmes is hurt, because that leaves the Colts with very little depth at the center position.  Harrison is actually the only healthy center on the roster currently, so if he gets injured the Colts wouldn't have a true center to step in.  Head coach Chuck Pagano mentioned on Friday that Jack Mewhort, Todd Herremans, and Joe Reitz could all step in if need be, saying "that's the great thing about our O-Line is we've got a bunch of guys with position flexibility."  Mewhort would make the most sense, but considering both he and Joe Reitz are current starters, perhaps they would opt for Herremans.  Regardless, let's just put it this way: after Jonotthan Harrison, the Colts won't have any depth at center without moving a guy out of position.

It's no surprise that Phillip Dorsett is out, as he underwent surgery this week for a fractured fibula and will be out several weeks.  Nate Irving is still dealing with a knee injury, so he will miss this Monday's game as well.  It will be his third game missed this year.

As for the safety position, backup Winston Guy is doubtful, but the more important players at the position are probable.  Mike Adams and Clayton Geathers both missed last week's game against the Saints but will likely be back this week, as both are probable.  Adams leads the NFL in takeaways since joining the Colts before the 2014 season and is a reliable starter, while Geathers is a versatile player who can fill several roles.

The Colts might not be the only team playing on Monday night without their starting center, as the Panthers officially list Ryan Kalil as doubtful for the game with an ankle injury.  The Panthers' first round pick this year, linebacker Shaq Thompson, is also listed as doubtful with a knee injury.  Defensive end Mario Addison (a former Colt) has been ruled out with a shoulder injury, while defensive tackle Dwan Edwards has also been ruled out with an ankle injury.