Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has declared several key players already out for the opener including veteran cornerback Darius Butler, but the team may get a huge lift along the offensive line as Jack Mewhort could shockingly start despite what was once speculated as a potential season-ending knee injury.
According to Fox 59’s Mike Chappell, the Indianapolis Colts have already ruled out some key players including defensive lineman Henry Anderson (knee), cornerback Darius Butler (ankle), cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle), and safety Clayton Geathers (foot) for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions:
Obviously, the Colts other inactives were expected, but Butler’s status has been relatively uncertain approaching the opener. The veteran cornerback hasn’t practiced all week though, and it explains why the team added a pair of more experienced cornerbacks, Rashaan Melvin and Darryl Morris, as backups earlier this week.
As such, each or both additions could be thrust into a prominent secondary role come Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions–filling in for Davis and Butler.
Expect to see either Zach Kerr or T.Y. McGill in Anderson’s absence, while rookie T.J. Green should receive the start with Geathers sidelined. Another rookie, Antonio Morrison, could also make his first career start at inside linebacker if Moore is unable to play on Sunday.
The encouraging news is that it looks as though veteran Kendall Langford, who’s rehabilitating from a minor offseason knee surgery, looks like he’ll continue his longest NFL active streak to 129 consecutive games at the other starting defensive end spot–but may not be quite at full strength.
Otherwise, one of the biggest storylines for the Colts will be whether Jack Mewhort could surprisingly start despite having suffered what was once thought to be potentially a season-ending injury to his knee in preseason.
Mewhort had been a limited participant in practice both Wednesday and Thursday, but is not listed on the team’s injury report–which means he’s active. This could mean that he could not only play, but perhaps shockingly start for the opener:
Even after surviving the season-ending “scare”, it was initially speculated that Mewhort would miss at least the first few weeks of the regular season recovering from his knee injury. However, he’s been participating in team drills and looks like he may be an actual go against the Lions:
Of course, it would be a huge boost to the Colts offensive line, who were originally expected to start converted center Jonotthan Harrison in Mewhort’s absence at left guard. While Harrison could likely hold his own, Mewhort is one of the best guards in the league when fully healthy and figures to be a considerable upgrade at the position.
Mewhort’s situation is well-worth monitoring as we get closer to game day, and we’ll be sure to update you as the latest details come in for the Colts.