Injuries force Colts to mix and match offensive linemen

Posted Aug. 19, 2010 @ 2:24 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

One of the big concerns when Colts camp opened was identifying the two most capable starters at offensive guard.

Eighteen days later, those concerns have been compounded by the fact that no part of the football team has dealt with more injuries than the offensive line.

C Jeff Saturday had his knee scoped a week into camp. OLT Charlie Johnson is dealing with a sore right foot. Neither player is guaranteed to be ready in time for Week One. ORT Ryan Diem has missed substantial time after the birth of his first son. OT Adam Terry also has been banged up. And that doesn't even address the guard position. Free-agent acquisition OG Andy Alleman was waived/injured after suffering a back injury. Rookie OG Jacques McClendon has missed time with an injury to his lower right leg. OG Jaimie Thomas was in a walking boot after the club's first preseason game Sunday against the 49ers. ORG Kyle DeVan has a sore hamstring.

All of these injuries have forced head coach Jim Caldwell to mix and match linemen, making it very difficult to establish continuity for a unit that is being counted on to improve greatly this season.

If there is any silver lining in this cloudy picture, we hear the club was pleased with the performance of the makeshift group, featuring C Jamey Richard along with Thomas (OLG), DeVan (ORG), Tony Ugoh (OLT) and Diem (ORT), that started against the 49ers. Although the line didn't skip a beat while the first team was on the field, it's hard to say how much of that was a result of QB Peyton Manning.

The way it stands now, the Colts might be forced to rely on the two healthiest players available at the guard spots Week One at Houston.



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