As we recently saw the Indianapolis Colts place Clayton Geathers, Malik Hooker and Jeremy Vujnovich on the Active/PUP list, we presumed that might be the worst of it for the team’s injury concerns. Today, however, the Colts added three more linemen to a different injury list.
Anthony Castonzo, Denzelle Good and Austin Howard have now all been placed on the team’s active/non-football injury list the day camp kicks off. With all three being tackles, with two of them being the projected starters, this may come off as though the team is now in trouble at the position.
But, the NFI list is nearly identical to the Active/PUP list in that the players put on it are able to be released from it at any time before the season begins. Additionally, for what it’s worth, Stephen Holder is stating that their injuries don’t appear to be anything serious.
Castonzo, Good and Howard should all be back fairly quickly from what I am told. None considered serious.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 25, 2018
Stand down. https://t.co/UMzbTLPJdD
The NFI simply means that the player’s injury occurred outside of the team’s football related activities. For both lists, coming off to return to practicing with the team simply needs a release without any real hoops to jump through or extended time off.
Most of the talk centered around Castonzo suggests that his absence will be short, but little is known about Good or Howard’s situations. Frank Reich will be speaking to the media Thursday and you can bet that questions about their status will be raised following practice.
Interestingly, Andrew Walker — of Colts.com — states that he expects several linemen to be getting pushed into the rotation with these three out. This, especially with them expected to be back in action sooner rather than later, may be good for the group of pass protectors in the long run.
Walker even mentions Jack Mewhort as one who could be getting some looks at tackle throughout the process. This, due to his struggles at the position in the past, came as a bit of a surprise to me. The usual suspects of Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark along with several of those in the throes of battling for the roster were also mentioned which was expected.
On the other hand, another name was mentioned that I had brought up while breaking down the offensive line the other night on the Colts Cast — Braden Smith. To be fair, he was among the group who could “get a look at various spots” while Castonzo, Good and Howard are out.
But, shouldn’t Smith — a rookie who was considered to be a starter-level lineman by Chris Ballard, and one of the most athletic of the bunch — get an opportunity to try his hand at tackle anyway? I certainly think it’s worth seeing what he’s got.
He’s got the requisite size and length, he’s not really considered a front runner to start at either guard position at the moment, and there’s no worry about it stunting his development for any reason. With the surprising amount of O-line depth available for the Colts this year, there’s literally no reason not to for my money. Never know what you might find.
At any rate, it doesn’t feel as though these linemen will be out for an extended period of time, and more snaps for the rest of the position at the start of camp can only be a good thing going forward.