Indianapolis goes into critical play without LT Castonzo

0
120
  IndyCar Indianapolis 500 Results |  WTOP

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indianapolis Colts will attempt to advance to Sunday’s playoffs without attacking Anthony Castonzo. Coach Frank …

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indianapolis Colts will attempt to advance to Sunday’s playoffs without attacking Anthony Castonzo.

Coach Frank Reich announced on Wednesday that the former pro bowler will have an operation on his right ankle at the end of the season on Thursday. Reich did not explain how the Colts will occupy Castonzos’ place in their injured offensive line.

“I’m not going to go into this now from a competitive advantage standpoint,” he said. “But we have a plan A and a plan B and we will finalize and confirm it on Friday.”

The timing couldn’t be worse.

Indy (10: 5) needs a win against Jacksonville (1:14) on Sunday and a loss to Baltimore, Cleveland, Miami or Tennessee to reach the AFC’s extended playoff field with seven teams.

Castonzo has been an anchor in the offensive line since Indy designed him at number 22 overall in 2011. The 32-year-old started all 16 games in six of his ten seasons and never missed more than five in the other four seasons.

Still, this was one of the toughest years for Castonzo, who considered retiring in the final off-season before signing a two-year deal to stay with Indy. He missed the Cleveland game in October with a rib injury, the Houston game earlier this month with a knee injury, and last week’s Pittsburgh game after injuring his ankle in practice.

“It’s something else I’ve never heard of,” Reich said when asked about the details of the injury. “The good news is that we are comfortable with the procedure. It’s not a career end or anything, but it’s a funky kind of injury I’ve never heard of. “

Castonzo’s top backup, Le’Raven Clark, suffered an end-of-season tear on his left achilles tendon on December 6th. Chaz Green filled up after Clark fell but switched to right-wing tackle last week instead of Braden Smith, while Indy Will Holden was in Castonzo’s place. Holden injured his knee during the game and is already out for the week.

Indy switched three-time Pro Bowl guard Quenton Nelson to briefly end the tackle game during a game earlier this season. With three preparatory exercises, this remains a possibility.

The good news: Reich said Smith and linebacker Jordan Glasgow, a key member of the special team, will play this week after being activated from the COVID-19 reserve list. Smith missed a game and Glasgow missed the last three.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written, or redistributed.