Quenton Nelson could be temporary answer at left tackle

Kevin Hickey
·2 min read

The Indianapolis Colts find themselves in a bit of a conundrum after it was revealed left tackle Anthony Castonzo will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his ankle.

Without much depth behind Castonzo on the edge, the Colts have toyed with the idea of moving All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson to the left tackle to replace the veteran Castonzo.

Though head coach Frank Reich wouldn’t tip his hand this week as to who will be playing on the edge, there is a chance that Nelson is the temporary answer at left tackle.

“Quenton Nelson is, as we know, just a unique player,” Reich told reporters Friday. “To do something like that – first of all, it not only takes a skillset but it takes a mindset and Quenton has the kind of mindset that can do something like that.”

Nelson saw a few snaps at left tackle during the Week 14 win over the Raiders. Castonzo was dealing with an MCL sprain and tweaked the injury, forcing him to miss a handful of snaps. After Chaz Green replaced Castonzo and struggled mightily, the Colts moved Nelson to left tackle and put center Joey Hunt at left guard.

Though Nelson has been a guard since entering the league, the Colts have confidence that the Notre Dame product could get the job done if needed. Given the depth they currently have, Nelson is probably the best option for the Colts right now.

With Castonzo and Le’Raven Clark (Achilles) on the injured reserve list and Will Holden ruled out for the game, the Colts don’t have many reliable options at left tackle.

They did sign veteran Jared Veldheer to the practice squad with the intention of elevating him before Sunday’s regular-season finale and the aforementioned Green has struggled to keep the edge protected when he has to go in.

Should Nelson have to play left tackle, the Colts made sure he got reps in this week at practice.

“Yeah, Quenton (Nelson) did get reps at left tackle and looked good out there,” Reich said.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the situation at left tackle, but don’t be surprised if Nelson is there protecting Philip Rivers’ blindside.