Colts: Anthony Castonzo heading to IR is monster loss at worst time
By Jerry Trotta
The Colts have placed left tackle Anthony Castonzo on injured reserve.
The Indianapolis Colts are in pole position to clinch a playoff berth despite their collapse against Pittsburgh in Week 16. All they have to do is emerge victorious over the one-win Jaguars this upcoming weekend and watch one of Baltimore, Cleveland or Miami lose their respective matchups.
However, it would appear that Indy’s luck has run out…to a certain extent. You know how injuries were the story through the first two months of the regular season? Well, it was just revealed that one of Indy’s most important players could be lost for the remainder of 2020.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, head coach Frank Reich announced that starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo will undergo ankle surgery and has been placed on injured reserve, which makes him ineligible to return for the next three weeks.
What a devastating blow for a team knocking on the door of the playoffs. Castonzo popped up on the injury report with an apparent ankle injury late last week leading up to the all-important matchup against Pittsburgh and was inactive for that game.
Reports indicated that he was close to being cleared to suit up, but this update confirms that was anything but the case. The coaching staff and medical team was biding time with the hope that the injury would heal itself, but it’s clear now that was never going to happen.
Given that the 32-year-old vet is going under the knife, his season — barring a deep playoff run — is over. If there’s a silver lining to be had for fans in Indianapolis, it lies in the fact that Reich acknowledged that the injury isn’t expected to be career-threatening. Assuming he doesn’t experience any setbacks, he should be back at full strength with plenty of time to spare before mini camp.
It’s worth noting that right tackle Braden Smith was activated off the COVID-19 reserve list, but that’s simply been the story of the Colts’ season: get one player back from injury or league protocols only to watch another player get placed on injured reserve with a serious knock.
As far as replacements for Castonzo are concerned, fans will be hopeful that backup Chaz Green builds off of the momentum he established against Pittsburgh. If that doesn’t work out, don’t be surprised if guard Quenton Nelson makes the switch to left tackle for the second time this year.