The injury luck with the Colts has began to reverse course over the last week. Carson Wentz, Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly are all back practicing after being sidelined for multiple weeks. Especially for Wentz and Nelson, who originally had a 5-12 week timetable, they returned even earlier than anticipated.
However, the one lingering issue with the Colts revolves around Achilles tendons. Left tackle Eric Fisher and second-round pass rusher Dayo Odeyingbo will be remain sidelined into the regular season after suffering the same injury in late January.
In the meantime, the Colts have seemed fine with Odeyingbo in their rotation thanks to the emergence of Kwity Paye, Kemoko Turay, Tyquan Lewis and Ben Banogu. On the other side of the line, left tackle is the biggest question on the Colts’ roster heading into their regular season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
With Fisher expected to be sidelined potentially for the first six weeks, who will be pressed into duty protecting Wentz’s blindside next to Nelson and Kelly?
Sam Tevi was supposed to be the original answer, but he’s been a complete turnstile throughout training camp and preseason. Tevi’s porous play forced Indianapolis to move him from the left to right side, and it didn’t even matter. In the Colts’ second preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, Tevi was getting abused by practice squad pass rushers. There’s a strong probability he doesn’t even make the final roster.
Will Holden showed promise when he filled in for Anthony Castonzo against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, but he’s been one of the most disappointing players lowering their stock throughout July and August. Holden has been inconsistent at best, which isn’t how you win a temporary starting job.
One player who has taken his opportunity and ran with it over the last few weeks is Julien Davenport. The former Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins offensive tackle had a rough start, but he’s found a rhythm as of late. Against Minnesota, Davenport actually held up very well against their starters.
If there’s one player to hedge your bets on playing along the Colts’ starting offensive line in Week 1, it’s definitely Davenport. Compared to Tevi and Holden, he’s started to create some real distance relating to this longstanding position battle.
Fisher should be back for the Colts in October, potentially sooner with him beginning to slowly work his back on the sidelines at Grand Park, but Davenport should be a capable fill-in.
Unless something drastic occurs, Davenport has worked his way into playing alongside a three-time All-Pro left guard once the Colts take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sep. 12 vs. Seattle.