Colts will be without both OTs against NFL’s best pass rush

Kevin Hickey
·2 min read

The Indianapolis Colts (10-4) are hoping to stay alive in the playoff hunt when they travel to Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) and will be doing so without the benefit of either one of their starting offensive tackles.

The Colts announced Friday that starting right tackle Braden Smith would miss Sunday’s game after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That was a tough break, but it got even worse on Saturday when left tackle Anthony Castonzo was downgraded from questionable to out due to an ankle injury.

Now, the Colts will have to find a way to contain the NFL’s best pass rush. The Steelers enter this game with the most sacks (47) and the highest pressure state in the NFL (33.3%).

With T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward leading the way, the Colts may find it hard to move the ball consistently without their starting tackles. The offensive line has been stellar in pass protection this season, but they haven’t faced a challenge like this being down two starters against a vaunted pass rush.

It remains to be seen who will fill in for the Colts. It is likely going to be Chaz Green at left tackle while Will Holden slides in at right tackle.

However, it isn’t outside the realm of possibilities for the Colts to put left guard Quenton Nelson at left tackle, put rookie Danny Pinter at left guard and figure out who the best option at right tackle would be.

As the Raiders blew a chance to help the Colts in the playoff hunt, this game becomes even more crucial for Indy.

But they will face an uphill battle with both of their staring offensive tackles watching from the sidelines against the NFL’s best pass rush.

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