The performance of the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line on Sunday was certainly not up to par with what is expected.
The offensive line gave up three sacks and 10 QB hits against the Seattle Seahawks, giving flashbacks to when Andrew Luck was quarterbacking this team.
Boasting the highest-paid offensive line in the NFL, it is a unit that the Colts have spent numerous resources on in making it one of their strengths. Unfortunately, there are still some questions as to what that unit will look like in Week Two against the Los Angeles Rams.
The offensive tackle situation for the Colts is up in the air this week. Left tackle Eric Fisher is still trying to make his way back from a torn Achilles he suffered in January. On Monday, right tackle Braden Smith came in complaining of a foot injury that the Colts will continue to monitor.
Let’s start with the good news on this front. While there is no guarantee that Fisher will be starting this weekend, it looks like he is very close to returning.
“Feeling real good,” Fisher said today when asked how he was feeling. “I’ve been doing everything I can in my power to be available for this team. My role has progressed and progressed. I’ll leave my status and my role up to the coaches and training staff. I’m doing my part to make sure I’m rehabbing as hard as I can, practicing as hard as I can and just being ready when my number’s called.”
Fisher practiced all last week in a limited capacity and looks to ramp up his work in full this week. Head coach Frank Reich wants to see Fisher get more work in and make sure his conditioning is right before pushing him to play.
“He’ll get some good practice reps today,” Reich said Wednesday. “Again, just building – I mean he just started last week so just the conditioning side, the technique side, the quickness, kind of what he does. So, he has to show that this week.”
Having Fisher back would be huge for the Colts after the performance left tackle Julién Davenport had on Sunday. Davenport gave up two sacks and eight quarterback pressures according to Pro Football Focus, becoming a major liability for the offense. Getting back a former Pro Bowler at left tackle would certainly go a long way in helping this offensive line bounce back.
“Definitely,” Fisher stated when asked if he could return to the player he once was. “I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind the way I feel, especially with how things work around here – the training staff is just awesome. Definitely think I can return to the level of play, if not, take the next step in my career.”
For Smith, his situation is a little murkier this week. The right tackle who signed a four-year, $72.4 million contract extension before training camp had one of theworst performances of his career on Sunday. Smith gave up more sacks and quarterback hits against the Seahawks than he did the entire 2020 season.
The foot injury certainly is not something you want to hear if you are a Colts fan considering quarterback Carson Wentz and guard Quenton Nelson have already had to deal with foot injuries of their own. The Colts will once again be smart about their player and his foot.
“We’re just in an evaluation process with it,” Reich updated about Smith’s injury. “These foot injuries are a little complicated sometimes so we’ll evaluate it this week and see how it goes.”
If Smith cannot go this week, look for Matt Pryor to step in as the starter at right tackle. Asked if there was any level of concern about Smith’s injury, Reich mentioned how tough the fourth-year player is. He is a guy that will try to play through just about anything.
“I know if there is any chance Braden can play, he’ll play,” Reich reiterated. “He’s a tough guy, we know that about Braden. So, we’ll just evaluate it as the week goes on.”
The Rams and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald come to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday looking to go 2-0, while the Colts look to rebound and get to 1-1 on the year. If Fisher and Smith are good to go, the Colts’ chances of victory greatly increase. If not, this could shape up to be another tough matchup for Indy.
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