Colts’ Anthony Castonzo ruled out of Washington game
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One man’s setback is another man’s opportunity.
As had been speculated, starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo aggravated a hamstring injury on Wednesday and will miss Sunday’s road test against the Washington Redskins. The injury also forced him to miss the season opener.
“He had a setback the other day, so he’ll be out for the game,’’ coach Frank Reich after Friday afternoon’s practice. “I’ll go out there and say I think it was a minor setback, but it was a setback enough to rule him out for this week.’’
The team doesn’t believe placing Castonzo on the injured reserve list is an option at this time. That would force the 2011 first-round draft pick to miss at least eight games.
“It was pretty minor,’’ Reich said.
Castonzo’s setback means another week of shuffling along the Indianapolis Colts’ offense line, which probably means a rare start for Le’Raven Clark. Clark was inactive for the opener.
“Next man up is always the frequent thing around here, so I’ve just got to be ready to go,’’ Clark said. “I’ve been out there getting the reps in practice.
“I’m ready to go. Been preparing all week.’’
Reich wouldn’t elaborate on how the team would compensate for Castonzo’s absence. In the opener against Cincinnati, Joe Haeg stepped in at left tackle and J’Marcus Webb started at right tackle.
However, Webb suffered a hamstring injury against the Bengals and was placed on the injured reserve list.
Clark, a 2016 third-round draft pick, has appeared in 23 games with eight starts. He has started six games at right guard and two at right tackle.
There’s every chance Haeg returns to right tackle against Washington and Clark makes his first career start at left tackle. That was the position he focused on during the team’s offseason work and the preseason. Clark admitted he’s never played left tackle during a regular-season game, but started there in week 2 of the preseason against Baltimore and week 4 at Cincinnati.
“I got plenty of reps during the camp and during the preseason,’’ he said, “so I feel ready to go.’’
Reich and general manager Chris Ballard have spoken at length of the importance of having reliable depth along the offensive and defensive lines. They’ll be relying on that for a second straight week.
“That’s why we went heavy on the O-line in the draft, in coming into camp,’’ Reich said. “The whole goal was to have a lot of depth up front on both the O-line and D-line for situations like these. I’m glad we do.
“We have confidence that the guys we have to step in are going to play winning football.’’
More medical matters
Also ruled out of Sunday’s game are defensive tackle Denico Autry (ankle), offensive tackle Denzelle Good (wrist/knee) and defensive back Chris Milton (concussion).
Running back Marlon Mack, who missed the opener while recovering from a hamstring injury, practiced again Friday and has a chance to play against Washington.
“He looked good,’’ Reich said. “You can just see Marlon has that quickness, that explosiveness. He’s made really good progress.
“If Marlon’s up and ready to go, we’ll use him accordingly.’’