But head coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday the team is still trying to decide who will play where when the Colts (5-5) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Well, we haven’t made any final decisions,” Pagano said. “We practiced (Good) there. We practiced Jack Mewhort there. We’ve got a ton of guys that can do a ton of things for us. There is no final decision on that yet.”
When Castonzo suffered the injury in the final series of Sunday’s 24-21 win at Atlanta, the Colts shifted right tackle Joe Reitz to left tackle, moved left guard Mewhort to right tackle and inserted Lance Louis at left guard.
Reitz was re-signed in the offseason because he’s versatile enough to play either tackle or guard spots. He’s started the past seven games at right tackle. Mewhort started the first two games at right tackle before shifting back to his rookie position of left guard.
In whatever scenario, it seems Reitz will shift to left tackle. Question is, who lines up on the right side and will the guard position be impacted?
Good, 6-5 and 340, is a relative unknown as a seventh-round selection out of Mars Hill (N.C.). While on the active roster, he has not played a single snap this season.
“Size, he’s got great size, great length,” Pagano said. “He’s got excellent feet. He’s a dancing bear out there for a guy that’s 350 pounds. Smart, the guy picks things up. He’s just young, and it takes time for guys. We’ve had guys that have been able to go right now, but he works extremely hard. Talented guy and again, he’s got all the traits that you’re looking for.”
The Colts are undoubtedly wary of mixing up too many positions up front. The O-line has surrendered 75 quarterback hits, which ranks third most and is one shy of the league high, according to NFL.com.
Tampa Bay’s defense ranks 13th overall in yards allowed, 14th against the rush and 13th against the pass, and is anchored by three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who has six sacks. The sixth-year pro has 33 career sacks despite drawing constant double teams inside.
An equally pressing question is how will the Colts adjust the playbook based on a personnel change on the O-line?
“Yeah, I think that’s a good question,” Pagano said. “Obviously we’re going to curtail things to fit our personnel. We try to accentuate our strengths and hide our weaknesses if you will. I’m not saying that’s a weakness here or there. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to play to our skill sets, strengths and so forth. Our guys have put together a plan to where we can go out and execute and be efficient and score points and hopefully win a football game.”
Pagano’s injury report had a long list of players who did not participate in practice Wednesday: safety Mike Adams (ankle), Castonzo (knee), cornerback Vontae Davis (hamstring), wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (foot), inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (ribs), running back Frank Gore (ankle), wide receiver Andre Johnson (rest), quarterback Andrew Luck (kidney, abdomen), outside linebacker Robert Mathis (rest) and outside linebacker Erik Walden (foot).
Pagano said Gore, the team’s leading rusher, got the day off due to “bumps and bruises.”
Walden was in a boot at practice because Pagano said, “He’s got an issue with his heel.”
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