Colts notebook: Team ‘shutting down’ Kendall Langford for a while
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The mystery of Kendall Langford’s ineffectiveness no longer is a mystery.
The Indianapolis Colts have decided to shut down their veteran defensive end for an undetermined time to allow his right knee time to fully heal. Langford underwent arthroscopic surgery Aug. 8 to address a “chondral defect.’’
The decision means Langford will miss the first game of his nine-year career and end his streak of 135 consecutive appearances, the NFL’s longest active streak among defensive linemen. The Colts entertain the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Langford has played in all seven games, but offered minimal contributions: 11 tackles, one quarterback hit and two defended passes.
As it turns out, the right knee has been a serious issue.
“You guys have watched him play and we’ve watched it,’’ coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s been battling through that thing and just never really got right.
“He’s a tough, tough guy. He’s an ironman. He’s a warrior. He wants to play. He wants to be out there. But finally we just said let’s shut him down for a little bit and get that thing totally healed and calmed down to where he can get back to playing winning football.’’
Langford’s absence against the Chiefs is compounded by tackle Henry Anderson (left knee) also being ruled out. Kansas City’s running game is ranked a modest 18th, but Spencer Ware is 11th in the league with 492 yards and averaging 5.2 yards per attempt.
The Colts’ run defense is ranked 25th and has yielded three straight 100-yard games: Chicago’s Jordan Howard (118 yards), Houston’s Lamar Miller (149) and Tennessee’s DeMarco Murray (107).
The last time the Colts allowed a 100-yard rusher in four straight games: 2001.
More medical matters:
Along with Langford and Anderson, Pagano ruled out tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle), guard Jack Mewhort (tricep), wide receiver Chester Rogers (hamstring/foot) and linebacker Curt Maggitt (ankle).
Wide receivers Donte Moncrief (shoulder) and Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) will return to the lineup against the Chiefs. Moncrief hasn’t played since suffering a fractured left scapula in the second game at Denver.
Haeg stepping up:
With Mewhort missing a second straight game, rookie Joe Haeg will make another start at left guard. The fifth-round draft pick has been one of the pleasant surprises this season by starting at three positions: left and right guard and right tackle.
“He’s got a great mentality and he’s a tough guy,’’ offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said. “ . . . for what he’s done and been able to do as a rookie, I haven’t been around another guy that has been able to do that.’’
Haeg started 60 games at tackle at North Dakota State – 31 on the left side, 29 on the right side – but spent much of his rookie offseason with the Colts at guard.
Veteran Joe Reitz can relate. Last season, he logged starts and left tackle, right tackle and right guard.
“It’s amazing that Joe has been able to come in and do that as a rookie,’’ Reitz said. “One, you have to have great preparation. You have to study different opponents, different techniques from the right and left side. It’s not that easy to switch.’’