Last week, the Indianapolis Colts switched up their starting offensive line by choice for the first time this season. It was their fourth different offensive line combination in five games, but it was the first time that the change wasn’t because of injury.
The spots that were never even in question remained the same, with Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, Jack Mewhort at left guard, and Ryan Kelly at center. The other two spots, however, were where the changes occurred. The previous week both Denzelle Good and Joe Reitz had been out due to injury, but both were back for last Sunday’s game. Good regained his right guard spot, but Reitz was benched in favor of rookie Joe Haeg at right tackle, where he had started the week before. And lest there be any doubt about it, head coach Chuck Pagano confirmed today that Reitz was healthy last week - so his absence from the starting lineup wasn’t due to injury factors.
The changes didn’t really solve the issues, as Luck still got sacked five times - with a lot of the pressure seeming to come from that right side. But Good had done a solid job early in the year, while Haeg had impressed during his brief action, so it wasn’t neccessarily a bad idea. At the same time, the team also knows that Reitz is a very solid player and has been for years.
Pagano on Monday said that the line needs to be better, as Luck is the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL this season, but it remains to be seen whether that will prompt more changes.
When asked about it today, however, Pagano didn’t give a direct answer but seemed to strongly indicate what the Colts will do.
“Nothing like continuity,” Pagano said when asked about the starting offensive line for this Sunday. “So everybody’s healthy and nothing like continuity. Now I could do the same thing and just call [Bill O’Brien] and give him the lineup, but I’m not going to do that. There’s still some competitive stuff.”
Pagano had been talking in his press conference about how he’s not just going to call the Texans and say whether Vontae Davis will shadow DeAndre Hopkins, and he’s not just going to call them and say who the starting offensive line will be. But Pagano’s answer does seem to strongly suggest the Colts will keep the same starters.
When his response to the question of who the starting line will be is immediately about continuity, it’s probably a safe guess to think that the team will keep it the same as last week, which would mean Denzelle Good at right guard and Joe Haeg at right tackle again. It remains to be seen whether that will work out for them this Sunday against the Texans, but they should at least be thankful they don’t have J.J. Watt to worry about on top of all of that.