According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Indianapolis Colts Anthony Castonzo may have avoided a major injury on Sunday, as the initial diagnosis is that the veteran starting left tackle suffered an MCL sprain:
#Colts LT Anthony Castonzo was declared out with a knee injury, which is usually a bad sign. But source said he avoided major injury based on the initial diagnosis. Sounds like an MCL sprain for Castonzo, who has an MRI coming.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 29, 2020
While Castonzo is still set to undergo an MRI to determine the full (and most accurate) extent of his knee injury, the earliest development on his injured knee’s status is at least pretty encouraging—all things considered.
Still, although I’m not a physician, Castonzo’s MCL sprain may at least keep him out for at least a few weeks. Having just finished Week 12, that could set him up for a potential late season or perhaps playoff return for the Colts.
The veteran bookend was forced to leave Sunday’s loss against the Tennessee Titans after the Colts’ consecutive offensive touchdown drive—when he was injured on a 1-yard backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett touchdown run early in the second quarter.
The Colts offense largely struggled thereafter in his absence (when the game was still competitive), as Castonzo’s replacement Le’Raven Clark couldn’t hold his own consistently against Titans pass rusher Harold Landry off the left edge.
It mirrored a Week 5 performance, when the Colts could not contain Cleveland Browns All-Pro pass rusher Myles Garrett with Castonzo out—as he simply wreaked havoc.
The Colts have at times split Clark’s reps with 4-year pro Chaz Green previously, but the left tackle job was solely Clark’s during Sunday’s blowout loss in Castonzo’s absence.
Neither fill-in option appears to be that strong of a long-term replacement on paper—and the initial returns haven’t been all that promising either.
If Castonzo were to miss an extended period of time for the Colts, it’s a significant loss to the Colts offensive line—as he’s one of the franchise’s most invaluable players—especially given the lack of proven/quality depth behind him.