The Indianapolis Colts today started their fourth different offensive line combination in five games this year, as Denzelle Good slid back in at right guard and Joe Haeg stayed at right tackle. As usual, Anthony Castonzo is at left tackle, Jack Mewhort is at left guard, and Ryan Kelly is at center.
This is significant because both Denzelle Good and Joe Reitz are healthy and ready to go, but the Colts have made the decision to play Haeg over Reitz instead. That leaves Reitz as their backup swing tackle, and he’ll likely be the key backup at four of five spots today. Though this is the fourth different offensive line combination the Colts will have started this year, it’s just the first time they’ve made a change based on a coach’s decision instead of injury.
Chuck Pagano was noncommittal on Friday about who the starting offensive linemen would be and said they’d put their best five out there, indicating the Colts were considering shaking things up. Furthermore, Jim Irsay last week told reporters that he had an ideal five in mind when healthy, but he wouldn’t disclose who they were. It seems as if it’s Good at right guard and Haeg at right tackle, which is a good move and one that would have been my choice as well.
This shouldn’t be surprising, as Joe Reitz struggled some in the first few weeks and Joe Haeg has impressed when filling in the last two weeks. The Colts really seem to like Denzelle Good and haven’t shown any indication that they will move him back to tackle, which means that it makes sense why Haeg is starting at tackle with Good at guard. The team can’t go wrong with Reitz as a starter, but he also may be best suited for the key backup/swing tackle role.
Whatever the case, the Colts need to try to find their best five. As Mike Chappell pointed out, the Colts started their 35th different offensive line combination today in Andrew Luck’s 60 games, which isn’t good. But more importantly, the Colts need to make sure that they get their best five out there, which they’re trying to do today. With Luck being hit and sacked more than any quarterback in football so far through the first four weeks, they’re doing what they can to keep him protected. It will be very interesting to see how the combination of Denzelle Good and Joe Haeg hold up on the right side of the line today.