Update: According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter Kelly’s surgery will sideline him for 6-8 weeks.
Colts C Ryan Kelly scheduled to undergo surgery on a bone defect in his foot Friday that is expected to sideline him 6-8 weeks, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 17, 2017
According to Zak Keefer of the IndyStar, Colts second year Center Ryan Kelly will be undergoing foot surgery and will miss the start of the season. It is hard to overstate how tough a blow this is to the Colts. The offensive line has long been a problem for this team, and Kelly was a critical addition to that line.
It's surgery for Ryan Kelly.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 17, 2017
That's a huge blow for this team.
His surgery comes as a surprise after the Colts coaching staff had said they expected Kelly to be returning sooner rather than later. With backup Brian Schwenke still on PUP, starting quality centers are virtually non-existent. Deyshawn Bond, an undrafted free agent has done some filling in at the center position, but to expect him to be the full-time starter would be unwise for any length of time.
Given the fact that the Colts already planned to “kick the tires” on center Jeremy Zuttah, expect that they might move quickly to acquire someone of his level of ability to fill in given the relative unknowns about the timeline to get Kelly back.
Kelly has struggled with knee and ankle injuries in his past time at Alabama but was not seen as an injury risk coming into the draft last year. This likely increases the timeline until we would see Andrew Luck because Ballard has repeatedly emphasized that he would not be rushed back, and it is hard to see the Colts putting him at further risk of injury by putting him behind what will be an offensive line in a major state of flux.
Colts fans can only hold our collective breaths and hope that both Schwenke and Kelly are able to get back quickly and that the injury bug does not get any worse going forward.