Thanks to GM Chris Ballard’s keen eye for identifying talent, the Indianapolis Colts have flaunted one of the best offensive lines in the NFL over the last few years.
While Quenton Nelson and now-retired left tackle Anthony Castonzo have been the most recognizable members of the unit, Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith are as underrated as they come at the center and right tackle positions. The work Mark Glowinski has put in at right guard the last three seasons has been grossly unappreciated as well.
Having said that, we’re a little concerned about the Colts’ offensive line situation with the first week of preseason already in the books. We’ll get more into the laundry list of injuries in a second, but Indy’s depth in the trenches just took another killer hit.
On Friday, 2020 fifth-round pick Danny Pinter was spotted at practice not only with a walking boot, but wearing crutches. Is this trend ever going to end?
The injuries to the Colts’ offensive line are starting to pile up.
Oh would you look at that, another foot injury. Haven’t the Colts met their quota for the season in that department already? Thank heavens Braden Smith was cleared to practice.
The most concerning part of Pinter’s injury, the details of which are currently unknown, is that he needed the assistance of crutches on top of the walking boot.
The Colts use walking boots as a precautionary measure all the time. Carson Wentz and Nelson both shed their walking boots after undergoing surgery…which really makes you speculate whether the versatile lineman is dealing with something serious.
Either way, this news isn’t great for Indianapolis, which is now down three of its more important offensive lineman. Nelson, of course, underwent surgery over a week ago and was given a five-12-week timetable for return. Kelly, meanwhile, is expected to be sidelined for a couple weeks as he recovers from an elbow injury.
With Pinter serving as Kelly’s primary backup, the Colts will now turn to Joey Hunt, whom they brought back in free agency this offseason.
This was a prime opportunity for Pinter to get some run with the first-team offense and further prove that he has starting-caliber potential, so this is really unfortunate for him. Let’s just hope it’s something minor and the 25-year-old doesn’t miss an extended period of time.
Regardless, Colts fans should be shining Ballard’s shoes for how much he emphasized anchoring the team’s OL depth this offseason. With signings like Hunt, guard Joey Reed, and left tackles Sam Tevi and Julién Davenport, Indy can withstand a couple injuries.
That’s undoubtedly a silver lining, but the injuries are starting to pile up. Right now, the Colts are without their starting left tackle (Eric Fisher), left guard (Nelson) and center (Kelly), as well as their top backup center (Pinter), who also has the versatility to play guard.
Better these injuries happen now than right before or during the regular season, but we’re starting to get a little concerned by what we’re seeing.