Last night, the Indianapolis Colts took a big blow to their already shaky offensive line with one of their best players, Jack Mewhort, suffering from an ACL injury.
This is a major blow for a franchise who were finally beginning to establish a starting unit that they felt good with.
Mewhort, who started 30 games over the past two seasons for Indianapolis Colts, was emerging into one of the best offensive linemen on the team and in the league.
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus had Mewhort ranked at number seven on his top ten players under 25 years of age to make his top 101 players of 2016.
“The Colts have had a poor O-line for some time now, but Jack Mewhort was a bright spot for that unit last season. Starting 14 games at left guard and two at right tackle, Mewhort didn’t allow a sack all season, and actually played reasonably at tackle as well as inside at guard. He ended the year with 1,129 total snaps and was very good as a run-blocker. That season was a definite improvement over his rookie year, but we have now seen back-to-back positively-graded seasons from Mewhort and his trajectory is trending in the right direction. He doesn’t need much of a step forward over the next season to force his way onto the list.”
Well now, unfortunately, Mewhort will be unable to live up to that claim by PFF. He will most likely have to watch from the sidelines for the entire 2016 season.
Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue mentioned how the Colts will try to replace the Ohio State product.
“It’s unclear what the Colts will do at the position to replace Mewhort,” Wilson said. “As the top candidates – Joe Haeg and Hugh Thornton – are both currently week-to-week as they are sidelined with injuries as well. It likely would have been Haeg getting the first opportunity to step in, but since he’s injured (and since Thornton is also injured) it could be Jonotthan Harrison filling in.”
Since the Colts have so many players with different injuries on their roster, it seems like a good idea for them to get a quality lineman to replace Mewhort — ASAP.
But who could replace such a quality player like Mewhort? Well the Colts could possibly test out the free agent pool.
There are some players that the Colts could sign. One possibility is guard Louis Vasquez. A few years ago, fans were pushing for the Colts to sign a quality guard like Vasquez, but were disappointed when the free agent signed with the Denver Broncos.
Now, a few years later, Vasquez is back on the market. At 29, Vasquez isn’t as good as he was with San Diego, but still could be a quality option at guard. While he did have a down season with Denver last season, the 29-year-old lineman could re-emerge as a very good guard with a change of scenery. The Colts would be wise to at least have Vasquez in for a visit.
Some more options for Indy could be Jake Long at tackle and possibly move Joe Reitz inside. That could also be a viable option.
Even if the Colts sign a player, they could be just for a depth standpoint. As previously mentioned, Joe Haeg could get the first opportunity at left guard. Haeg was a steal for Indianapolis. The Colts had a second round peg on Haeg prior to the draft, and snagged the offensive lineman with the 155th pick in the fifth round of the draft.
Whoever fills the vacant LG spot, it’s a must that the Colts d their best to compensate for the significant injury to their best guard.
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