To kick things off, they were hit with news of left tackle Anthony Castonzo’s retirement, leaving a gaping hole at the most important position on the offensive line.
That gut punch was followed by Philip Rivers also disclosing his intentions to retire and the coaching staff getting absolutely pillaged during the coaching carousel.
Fortunately for the Colts, they’ve managed to resolve their quarterback conundrum and overcome the handful of assistants who departed for promotions with other organizations with their own string of hires.
When it comes to the left tackle position, however, Indianapolis is still currently looking for a solution. There will be potential bandaids on the free agent market, though some fans would prefer general manager Chris Ballard draft a top prospect and preserve that money for another position of need.
At the time of Castonzo’s retirement, there were rumors going around hinting that right guard Quenton Nelson could potentially make the switch to left tackle.
Well, during his latest media session, head coach Frank Reich didn’t rule out such a move for the reigning All-Pro.
Here’s what Colts HC Frank Reich said about moving Quenton Nelson to left tackle
"“I think the discussion with Quenton, Quenton wants to do whatever’s best for the team, and he trusts that we’ll make what we believe is the best decision,” Reich told reporters on Thursday, via the Indianapolis Star. We want to get the best five guys on the field at the best positions for those guys.”"
It’s worth noting that Reich also revealed that Nelson is open to the position switch. If the former No. 6 overall pick wasn’t comfortable with it, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, so the fact that he would consider the move proves it’s at least in the realm of possibility.
All things considered, Nelson was very impressive in his brief cameo at left tackle in Week 13 against the Raiders filling in for an injured Castonzo. It was only an eight-snap sample size, but taking into account that playing LT warrants an entirely different philosophical approach, it was pretty eye-opening that he transitioned on the fly as seamlessly as he did.
A move from right guard to left tackle is an extreme rarity in the NFL, but with Nelson it’s very possible that his superstar blocking ability could trump all the potential stumbling blocks (like footwork and technique) he could come across during the transition.
At this point, it’s just too early to tell what the Colts intentions are with Nelson. Moving him from a position he’s thoroughly dominated — he’s just the second player in the last 30 years (Barry Sanders was the other) to be named a First-Team All-Pro in each of his first three seasons — would certainly be a bold decision.
However, given that Indianapolis doesn’t have a surefire successor lined up for Castonzo, you really can’t blame them for considering all potential solutions.