Colts: Here’s how Indy’s slew of injuries will affect matchup vs Browns
Here’s how the Colts’ slew of injuries will affect their Week 5 matchup with Cleveland.
Fans in Indianapolis might as well get used to key players suffering injuries each week, because recent history reared its ugly head in Week 4. Despite what the final score might suggest, the Colts rode a lights out defensive performance to a convincing win over Chicago.
However, that result, which saw Indy improve to 3-1 on the season, unfortunately came at the cost of a handful of injuries to important players. When you consider a date with a streaking Browns team (winners of three straight) awaits the Colts, these updates are the opposite of encouraging.
Headlining that list is linebacker Bobby Okereke. who underwent surgery to repair a thumb injury suffered against the Bears. The severity of the injury remains unclear, but head coach Frank Reich revealed that the 2019 third-round pick hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday and will be evaluated later in the week.
Okereke has played 74% of the defensive snaps thus far, so him potentially missing time would be a severe blow to Indianapolis, whose defense has already been forced to overcome a rash of injuries through the first month of the campaign.
The Colts could also be without the likes of LB Darius Leonard and left tackle Anthony Castonzo in what is shaping up to be a massive showdown versus Cleveland. The former went down with a groin injury late in the first half on Sunday and was ultimately ruled out after initially being labeled as questionable to return.
His status for Week 5 is very much up in the air, so fans should be keeping close tabs on his participation (or lack thereof) at practice this week. If Leonard isn’t able to recover in time, expect Anthony Walker to shift to over to his spot with 2018 seventh-rounder Zaire Franklin seeing an uptick in snaps as well.
Castonzo, meanwhile, is dealing with a rib injury he sustained and ultimately battled through against Chicago, playing 68 of a possible 72 offensive snaps. That indicates his availability might come down to a matter of pain tolerance, but (like Okereke and Leonard), Reich acknowledged that the 32-year-old stud is in danger of missing Week 5.
2016 third-round pick Le’Raven Clark subbed in for the other four offensive snaps, and he will, in all likelihood, get the nod at left tackle if Castonzo ends up being sidelined.
It goes without saying that Okereke, Leonard and Castonzo are three of the Colts’ most important players, so fans should hold their collective breath until Reich addresses the media next, or the official injury report is disclosed. Either way, this isn’t a promising start to the week.