According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Indianapolis Colts left tackle Le’Raven Clark has suffered a season-ending torn Achilles as the preliminary diagnosis:
The preliminary diagnosis on #Colts OL Le’Raven Clark is a torn Achilles, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 7, 2020
He’ll have an MRI to confirm. Big loss for Indy, which had Clark starting at left tackle in place of Anthony Castonzo. They’re down to their third option on Philip Rivers’ blind side.
The former 3rd round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft suffered the injury during the first half of Sunday’s win against the Houston Texans—and he was replaced by Colts’ third-string offensive tackle Chaz Green the rest of the way.
Clark was already replacing the injured Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, who’s expected to miss at least a few more weeks late in the season.
While Green initially held his own on Sunday, he began to get exploited as the game progressed—with more extended playing time at starting left tackle—and the Texans’ front seven clearly looking to take advantage of his inexperience and the matchup.
Clark had made 15 career starts for the Colts, and while he wasn’t great in spot duty either, he may have been the team’s best internal option—at least until Castonzo returned.
The Colts do have developmental rookie offensive tackle Carter O’Donnell on the team’s practice squad for depth, but it’s a fair question of whether general manager Chris Ballard will elect to bring in a veteran replacement option such as former Cincinnati Bengals’ bookend (and free agent) Cordy Glenn—who’s made 95 career starts with both the Buffalo Bills and Bengals.
The remaining in-house option might be to slide All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson to left tackle and insert rookie Danny Pinter at starting left guard. Flipping Braden Smith from starting right tackle to left may not make as much sense given the awkwardness of the switch, and the fact that the Colts would still have to start Green at right tackle then—with Smith playing out of position.
Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation for the Colts offensive line in Castonzo’s continued absence.