Colts: Indy needs Anthony Castonzo healthy ahead of Week 1

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Anthony Castonzo
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Anthony Castonzo /

The Colts need left tackle Anthony Castonzo healthy ahead of their Week 1 clash against Jacksonville.

It’s game week, Colts fans, which means that the team has released its first official injury report of the new season. Aside from a few players being placed on injured reserve or the physically unable to perform list, Indianapolis is in pretty good shape leading up to its Week 1 clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The most notable inclusion on the report was left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who was a limited participant after missing Friday’s session with an oblique injury. For a player who’s tasked with the responsibility of blocking quarterback Philip Rivers’ blindside, this update isn’t exactly encouraging.

Fans in Indianapolis will be hoping that his “limited” tag was merely precautionary, but we wouldn’t blame those who will be sweating it out until his official status for Sunday is confirmed by the coaching staff.

What makes Castonzo’s inclusion on the report so concerning was that his oblique injury cropped up seemingly out of nowhere. Indianapolis obviously has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, but you could argue that the 32-year-old’s presence is among the most essential. Especially with Quenton Nelson (back) suddenly a question mark, too.

Not only does he play the most important position, but he’s also coming off the best season of his career by a wide margin, so it’s really no surprise the unit was so dominant. The former first-round pick was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2019, and he received stellar marks from Pro Football Focus for his performance.

PFF awarded him with a 81.3 grade for his efforts, which saw him finish as the ninth-highest graded lineman (including second-best LT) in the league. Castonzo was also one of a handful of tackles to allow three or fewer sacks, and finished the season as the least-flagged tackle with just two penalties.

That spectacular showing prompted the Colts to sign him to a two-year extension worth $33 million at the start of the offseason. Indianapolis is lucky enough that their first opponent of the year is arguably the least talented in the NFL, but we still want confirmation that Castonzo being limited was more precautionary than anything.

Again, the ceiling of the Colts’ offensive line in 2020 might be contingent upon his availability, and this is a less than promising start, especially after the team had to fret about Castonzo opt-out concerns for the first portion of the summer.

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