Colts: Sam Tevi injury ends competition for backup LT job
By Mike Luciano
One of the main talking points from Indianapolis Colts practices over the last few weeks has been the offensive line play, as the combination of Will Holden, Sam Tevi, and Julién Davenport was trying to replace Eric Fisher until he worked his way back to full health following his injuries.
Acquired in free agency after the Los Angeles Chargers decided to use a first-round selection on Rashawn Slater, Tevi was looking to rehabilitate his value within the league after a down season. Not only did he fail in that regard, but his body appears to have let him down.
Mike Wells is reporting that Tevi, who was on the roster bubble, will miss the entire 2021 season after tearing his ACL. While he wasn’t dominating in camp, losing a backup lineman at the most important position on the line is never a good sign, especially when Indianapolis has been beset by injuries at other positions.
However, Reich confirmed on Wednesday that Davenport is likely going to start at left tackle until Fisher comes back, and with some misfortune knocking Tevi out of the race, Davenport has totally locked in on the LT1 job for the time being. Now it’s time to prove that his play warrants that designation.
The Sam Tevi injury makes Julién Davenport the starter Colts LT.
After being drafted by the Texans and shipped to the Dolphins in the Laremy Tunsil deal, Davenport signed with Indy after spending most of 2020 as a backup. he was a starter for Houston in 2018 and Miami in 2019, albeit with mixed results.
One area where Davenport has really impressed in preseason play is pass protection, as he knows how to use his 325-pound frame and 36.5-inch arms. While his run blocking wasn’t as dominant, the fact that Marcus Brady will likely take to the air as much as the game situation permits necessitates the need for a solid pass-blocker in Fisher’s spot.
Even when Fisher comes back, his injuries mean that Indianapolis can’t just assume he’s going to be the same player he was in Kansas City. Davenport shouldn’t just assume that Fisher’s return means he is incapable of eventually becoming a starter with the Colts.
This is certainly a bad break for Tevi, who will have an even harder time attracting suitors now that he has a major injury on his resume. However, Davenport has been designated as the unquestioned backup LT due to this injury, and this could set the stage for a breakout season out of the Bucknell alum.