Just one week away from their first training camp practice, the Indianapolis Colts today released their starting right tackle. The team announced that they have parted ways with Gosder Cherilus, opening up the right tackle spot.
Of course, those who have been following the Colts over the offseason already knew that Cherilus' status as the starter was very much in doubt. Last season he struggled through injuries that resulted in poor play, and he ended up being placed on injured reserve right before the playoffs. The Colts had serious concerns about his health status and that resulted in Jack Mewhort, who spent his rookie season at left guard but did make one start at right tackle in 2014, spending this offseason working at right tackle. The Colts knew that this was a real possibility and were prepared for it, and that very likely means that Mewhort is their new starter at the position.
Signed as a free agent in 2013 by the Colts, Cherilus played in all 16 games that season and did a good job, providing the Colts with two good tackles along the line. 2014 was a different story, however, and while he still started 13 games, his season was plagued with injuries that led to pretty bad play. In his seven year career (five with the Lions and two with the Colts). Cherilus has started 100 games and played in 104.
As for the Colts' starting offensive line, Anthony Castonzo is the left tackle, while the left guard position is open. Lance Louis and Hugh Thornton are going to be competing there, but I think Joe Reitz should get a look as well. At center, the competition is between Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison. Then at right guard is Todd Herremans, while Jack Mewhort now takes over at right tackle. With Mewhort at right tackle, the Colts should be fine there and at both tackle spots. The real question now is the interior of the line, as there is now a hole at left guard (in addition to the questions already there about the center position).
Ultimately, this is a move that shouldn't be surprising, though the timing might be a little strange. Either way, we knew all offseason that Gosder Cherilus might not be ready and that Jack Mewhort was working at right tackle, and so that will almost certainly be the case when the Colts open training camp one week from today.