According to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, the Indianapolis Colts may have a ‘controversy’ at starting right guard now—as the team is waiting until later in the week to name a starter between incumbent Mark Glowinski and his potential ‘red hot’ replacement Chris Reed:
Colts will wait until later in the week to name a starter at right guard. Either way, Mark Glowinski and Chris Reed will split reps. This is a pretty telling indication of how well Reed has played — Colts are looking for ways to keep him on the field.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 27, 2021
Filling in for then-injured 3x NFL First-Team All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson from Weeks 4-6, the Colts surprisingly really didn’t lose a beat with Reed—who held his own in pass protection and was a major asset in run blocking.
Signed to a modest 1-year, $1.1275M deal this past offseason, Reed’s been a revelation, as he’s really taken off in Colts offensive line coach Chris Strausser’s zone-blocking system.
Per PFF (subscription), Reed is their 28th best overall guard right now, having earned a +67.5 overall grade. In comparison, Glowinski is their 55th best guard with a +56.3 overall grade respectively.
Splitting some snaps with Glowinski last week at right guard (44 total snaps to be exact), Reed earned a +86.1 overall grade in pass blocking—and had this notable bone-crushing highlight as a run blocker, where he excels most at as a ground grader:
Wow Chris Reed is having a night. Still an elite run blocker pic.twitter.com/pg94v2cjfE— Billy M (@BillyM_91) October 25, 2021
The fact that Reed has seriously pushed himself in the starting lineup conversation has less to do with the idea that Glowinski is somehow struggling, and more to do with the fact that Reed’s play has been exceptional as of late—and he’s earned the opportunity for a potential starting job.
With Glowinski in the last year of his contract ($5.65M cap hit), perhaps the Colts could view the also 29 year old Reed, who’s similarly set to become a free agent in 2022, as a slightly cheaper (and maybe even arguably better) solution going forward at starting right guard.
If nothing else, Colts general manager Chris Ballard has preached wanting competition at each position, and he’s definitely getting a heated one right now between ‘Glow’ and Reed—although each should continue to roughly split reps in the immediate future.