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Colts Starting RT Braden Smith Activated From the Reserve/COVID-19 List

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NFL: OCT 18 Bengals at Colts Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts received some positive news on Wednesday, as starting right tackle Braden Smith has been activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list—meaning he’ll be available for Sunday’s must-win season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Smith had a ‘high risk close contact’ but did not test positive for the virus itself.

It also means that the Colts will not have to start backup Chaz Green at right tackle who struggled mightily in the first half of Week 16’s devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

By having Smith return to the starting lineup, the Colts will be receiving a major upgrade again, as the 3rd-year offensive tackle hasn’t allowed a sack and surrendered just 24 total QB pressures on the 2020 campaign during his 13 starts (via PFF).

Also, per PFF, Smith has received a +80.2 grade overall—including a +81.3 run blocking grade—as he’s currently their 17th best graded offensive tackle.

Although the Colts may still be without starter Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, whose injury status remains uncertain, Smith should at least help shore up some of the pass protection issues for a unit that collectively gave up 5.0 sacks and 8 QB hits on veteran quarterback Philip Rivers this past Sunday.