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Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo week-to-week with MCL sprain

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Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo will be week-to-week with an MCL sprain, head coach Chuck Pagano announced on Monday.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

During the Colts' 24-21 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the Colts lost a key offensive player and could be without him for the foreseeable future.  Head coach Chuck Pagano announced on Monday that Castonzo will be week-to-week with an MCL sprain.

As for the other injuries, Pagano said that Vontae Davis' MRI came back negative and that he should be fine after injuring his hamstring on Sunday.  Davis is listed as day-to-day, while Pagano also noted that wide receiver Phillip Dorsett should be back on the field this week with trainers.  He hasn't practiced since fracturing his fibula several weeks ago.

The notable injury, of course, is the one to Castonzo, who has been incredibly reliable and durable during his career.  He hasn't missed a single game since his rookie season in 2011, starting 66 regular season games in a row (72 including playoffs).  Last year, he led all offensive linemen in snaps played, and this year he hadn't missed a single offensive snap until the injury on Sunday.

"You hate to lose anybody, especially your starting left tackle," Pagano said Monday.  "Quarterback [Andrew Luck] one week, now your left tackle.  This guy, that guy.  Mike Adams, quarterback of your defense."

Pagano, though, realizes that it's the nature of the game and that they'll need to replace Castonzo quickly.  "He is a rock, but it's next man up," Pagano said.  "They're not canceling the game Sunday, so we'll find a way."

The Colts will now need to find a way to replace their best offensive lineman, the one they gave a 4-year, $43.8 million extension to shortly before the season started.  The offensive line was actually starting to play better as the season went on, but this is a significant loss.  Castonzo is the anchor of the line, and the Colts will be without him for the foreseeable future.  We don't know how long the left tackle will be out, but with the Colts week-to-week means the player will miss some time, and it sounds like Pagano acknowledges that.  For example, Andrew Luck and Phillip Dorsett have both been listed as week-to-week, but Dorsett has been out a month and Luck is expected to be out for several more weeks.

Pagano wasn't ready to announce what the Colts' starting offensive line will be in Castonzo's absence.  "We're still discussing it," he said.  "We've got some options."  On Sunday, the Colts slid Joe Reitz from right tackle to left tackle, moved Jack Mewhort from left guard to right tackle, and inserted Lance Louis at left guard.  That would be my expectation for the line moving forward until Castonzo is back, too.  During training camp, the Colts worked Reitz as their second-team left tackle instead of right tackle, and the reason seemed to be because the Colts trusted him at left tackle more than anyone else should Castonzo go down.  Perhaps that has changed since then, but that might be the safest bet.  Furthermore, Mewhort played right tackle earlier this year after spending all offseason there, so moving back wouldn't be a huge adjustment.  Rather, it would be returning to a lineup that the Colts used earlier this year with Louis at left guard and Mewhort at right tackle.

Again, the Colts haven't announced officially what they are going to do and they're still considering their options, but that would be my guess.  Regardless, however, they'll be without their starting left tackle for the time being as Anthony Castonzo works his way back from an MCL sprain.