According to the Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Colts starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo suffered an MCL injury to his knee against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday—although the full extent of its severity is currently unknown until he undergoes an imminent MRI:
Source: It's an MCL injury for Colts LT Anthony Castonzo. Won't know if there is cartilage damage or if the MCL is detached until he undergoes an MRI.— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) November 29, 2020
It’s a potentially significant blow to the Colts offensive line—should Castonzo miss extended time with the injury (or really any time right now).
Specifically, his replacement, Le’Raven Clark, has struggled this season at left tackle in his absence—and it’s a fair question of whether he’s even a viable solution going forward.
The other internal option is 4-year pro Chaz Green, who split some time with Clark earlier in the season—but has so far lost the positional battle to Clark.
On Sunday, the Colts cruised to scoring two touchdowns on consecutive offensive drives with a healthy Castonzo on the field, but after he was injured on a backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett 1-yard touchdown run with 12:51 left in the early second quarter, Indianapolis’ offense never looked the same—as Titans pass rusher Harold Landry looked more like Jevon ‘The Freak’ Kearse off the left edge disrupting plays—consistently getting the better of Clark.
It’s not the first time that the Colts offense has stalled in Castonzo’s absence, as it was a similar result in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns when the veteran left bookend was out with a rib injury, as All-Pro pass rusher Myles Garrett simply wreaked havoc on Indianapolis’ offensive attack and gameplan.
While he’s never made a Pro Bowl, let alone an All-Pro appearance, Castonzo remains one of the Colts’ most valuable and indispensable players.
First, because he’s incredibly underrated and remains one of the top left tackles in football, but second, the Colts don’t have an adequate replacement level player behind him.
Going forward, the Colts will need to look long and hard about A) either drafting the 32 year old Castonzo’s, who’s already contemplated retirement, long-term replacement to groom behind him and provide a suitable backup short-term or B) add another Joe Haeg like quality replacement to serve as a fill-in swing-tackle when called upon.
However, regarding the remainder of the 2020 season, here’s hoping for positive results as it relates to Castonzo’s potential availability the rest of the way.
The Colts offense simply cannot afford to lose him.