Colts’ notebook: A setback for Anthony Castonzo? Veteran LT did not practice Thursday
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Anthony Castonzo’s vow to return to the Indianapolis Colts’ lineup apparently has hit a snag.
One day after insisting he would play Sunday against Washington – “Yeah, absolutely. I’m full go’’ – the veteran left tackle’s availability is in doubt because of a lingering hamstring injury.
Castonzo was limited Wednesday, and did not practice Thursday. Coach Frank Reich was not available to media Thursday, which is normal for the team’s regular-season access.
Without elaboration from the team, it’s possible Castonzo’s limited status on Wednesday reflected him going through the early portions of practice as expected, but experiencing a setback with the hamstring. That could have led to him not practicing Thursday.
It’s uncertain how much time Castonzo might miss if he aggravated the hamstring injury.
The 2011 first-round draft pick first suffered the injury in July while working out on his own, and was placed on the non-football injury list when training camp opened July 25. Castonzo was added to the active roster Aug. 1 and began practicing, but aggravated the injury Aug. 3.
He missed the next five weeks before being cleared to practice last week.
If Castonzo misses a second straight start, Reich and his offensive staff once again will be in shuffle mode. Veteran J’Marcus Webb started the opener against Cincinnati, but suffered a hamstring injury that landed him on the injured reserve list. Also, veteran Denzelle Good remains out with knee and wrist injuries.
The most likely scenario for Sunday’s test with Washington is for Joe Haeg to remain at left tackle and rookie Braden Smith to step in at right tackle. Smith was the 37th overall pick in the April draft who started his final 41 games at Auburn, virtually every one of them at guard.
When injuries limited the preseason availability of Castonzo and Good, Smith began seeing extended repetitions at tackle. He played right tackle in the fourth quarter of the preseason opener at Seattle, and started at that spot against Baltimore and Cincinnati.
The Colts added offensive tackle Will Holden to the practice squad Thursday. The 6-7, 312 pounder was a 2017 fifth-round pick of Arizona. He appeared in seven games as a rookie with five starts.
Holden was waived by the Cardinals Sept. 1 when rosters were trimmed to 53.
Running back Marlon Mack continued to take on a heavier workload at practice, and has a chance of playing Sunday. He missed the opener, and much of preseason, with a hamstring injury suffered at Seattle.
Mack was a limited participant for a second straight day Thursday.
Does he believe he’s ready to make his season debut against Washington?
“That’s up to the trainers and the coaching staff,’’ he said. “We’re taking it slow each day.
“Every day I’m getting better. Today felt way better than yesterday.’’
Mack, a 2017 fourth-round draft pick, flashed his potential as a rookie. He provided big-play possibilities in the running game, and as a receiver out of the backfield.
Mack missed all of the team’s offseason work while recovering from shoulder surgery. He played the entire 2017 season with the injury after suffering it during the preseason.
With Mack out last week, rookies Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines stepped in. They combined for 59 yards on 19 rushing attempts and another 55 yards on 10 receptions.
The team waived tight end Erik Swoope and elevated defensive tackle Jihad Ward to the active roster from the practice squad.
Swoope was signed by the Colts in March 2014 after emerging as a standout power forward on the University of Miami’s basketball team. He appeared in 18 games, including the season opener against Cincinnati when he contributed one catch for 13 yards. In 18 games overall, Swoope had 16 catches for 310 yards and one touchdown.