According to The Athletic’s Stephen Holder, the Indianapolis Colts will perform their due diligence on visiting former Kansas City Chiefs’ Pro Bowl offensive tackle Eric Fisher’s physical (namely regarding his Achilles)—which will dictate their decision on signing him:
Something to watch: As the Colts work through their decision on OT Eric Fisher, they'll need to be expeditious.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) May 5, 2021
Fisher's physical will mostly dictate the decision. If the Colts elect to NOT move forward, they'll target Charles Leno. But Denver is lurking and is very interested.
And rightfully so too, as Colts general manager Chris Ballard is normally prudent spending free agent dollars, much less on a potentially still injured player.
The Colts’ medical staff will want to dig into the health status of Fisher’s torn Achilles, which was surgically repaired in early 2021. They may also want to dig into a core muscle surgery, which cost Fisher an additional 8 games in 2019.
If Fisher gets an encouraging or relatively ‘clean bill of health’, it appears as though he’s the Colts’ current top option among a handful of veteran free agent options, and Indianapolis would be poised to sign him pretty soon.
The former top overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft made 113 career starts for Kansas City, predominantly at left tackle aside from his rookie season. He’s been a 2x Pro Bowler blocking for NFL superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ blindside.
Per PFF (subscription), Fisher was their 16th best graded offensive tackle in 2020 with a +80.1 overall grade—featuring a +77.0 pass blocking grade, during his 17 starts (including postseason).
In pass protection, he surrendered 3.0 sacks and 35 total QB pressures in 781 total pass blocking snaps this past regular season and postseason.
That being said, it appears that if Fisher’s medical evaluation is cloudy or negative, the Colts could pivot to fellow Pro Bowler Charles Leno as a ‘Plan B’, who earned a +74.9 overall grade in 2020 and has less availability/durability concerns but a slightly lower ceiling/upside—if both standout offensive tackles are fully healthy.
There have been reports that Fisher could return as early as mid-August, but that might be overly optimistic regarding his ongoing rehabilitation. His recovery timetable remains fluid.
Any way you look at it though, either Fisher or Leno would theoretically be a considerable upgrade to projected starting left tackle Sam Tevi—which is a good thing for the Colts.