The injury situation for the Indianapolis Colts is looking very good this week. The only two players ruled out for the game are wide receiver Donte Moncrief (shoulder) and center Jonotthan Harrison (appendectomy), both of which we knew about earlier this week. Everybody else, according to head coach Chuck Pagano, should be good to go.
That includes right guard Denzelle Good and right tackle Joe Reitz, who Pagano said had a good week of practice this week, but it doesn’t mean that both will automatically regain their starting spots.
Rookie Joe Haeg has played well the last two weeks as he has filled in at both right guard and right tackle, and Pagano wouldn’t rule out inserting Haeg into the starting lineup. In short, we’ll basically have to wait and see who the Colts start up front on Sunday against the Bears.
“We’ve got a lot of options,” Pagano said on Friday. “We do. We have a lot of options with 71 [Denzelle Good] and 76 [Joe Reitz] and 73 [Joe Haeg] and 62 [Le’Raven Clark] available, so there’s a lot of things we can do.”
It’s interesting that he mentioned Clark but not Austin Blythe, who started at right guard last week (and really struggled). Regardless, no one should be expecting either Clark or Blythe in the full-time starting lineup anytime soon. But Haeg? Possibly.
“Yeah, I think he’s done a good job at both spots,” Pagano said of Haeg. “And so we’re going to put the best five out there. The five that give us the best chance to win.”
Again, he was vague when it comes to who’s going to start, but at the very least it tells us that the Colts are considering changing things up. So far this season it has always been Good at right guard and Reitz at right tackle when healthy, but the emergence of Joe Haeg could change that. If it were up to me, I’d try to get both Haeg and Good on the field (the Colts’ level of commitment to keeping Good at guard would determine where they played) with Reitz as the primary backup at four of the five spots along the offensive line. But they also could decide to stick with Reitz as the starter, which would be a perfectly understandable position to take as well - and they could go with any number of lineup combinations. We don’t know what they’ll end up doing, but we do know that they’re not ruling changes out - at least not publicly.