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Austin Howard passes physical, cleared to return to action

Some excellent news for the Colts this morning came in the form of tackle Austin Howard passing his physical.

Howard had been dealing with an undisclosed injury and was on the Non-Football Injury List. As far as injuries go, this camp has been a healthy one for the Colts so far, but the offensive line has been missing several key parts including Howard and Anthony Castonzo, and their absence makes it more difficult to get an idea of just how well they will work as a unit.

There have been many questions that missing your two starting tackles brings, not the least of which is on the defensive side, where players like John Simon have shone, but haven’t faced the starting talent at this point. Cohesion of the line will mean better protection for Andrew Luck, and an improved ability to run the ball. Especially given Luck’s injury history, this is critical.

Howard was largely viewed as the presumed starter heading into camp, and it would be a surprise if he was supplanted right away. He offers an improved level of play to a line that has already looked sturdier. It was reported early in camp that both Castonzo and Howard’s injuries were not significant, and this proves that to be true for Howard. The hope is that Castonzo will be back in action soon as well, and we can get a look at this unit as a whole and see just what the Colts have across the line.