Things are not getting easier for the Indianapolis Colts. The team brought in veteran quarterback Kerry Collins prior to the start of the 2011 season to stay competitive while Peyton Manning missed time to recover from neck surgery. After participating in only three games and suffering a concussion, Collins has been placed on the injured reserve.
He will not be going to the season-ending list alone. Fullback Chris Gronkowski, who the Colts acquired off of waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, tore a pectoral muscle and will be unable to take the field again this season. Gronkowski’s injury leaves the team in a position to find a new lead blocker because the other player with experience in the role, Eric Foster, has already been shut down for 2011 — the team will likely turn to H-Back Brody Eldridge (assuming his knee injury will not keep him out of the game).
To complicate matters, starting left guard Joe Reitz has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss an undisclosed period of time. Starting right guard Mike Pollak will also miss an indefinite period of time due to a hamstring injury. This means backups Mike Tepper and Seth Olsen will get starting nods and former Colts offensive linemen Jamey Richard and Michael Toudouze will re-join the team to provide depth.
The practice squad shuffled again with running back Darren Evans signing and wide receiver David Gilreath released.
Wendesday’s injury report has also been released.
Full Participation: LB A.J. Edds (concussion), WR Anthony Gonzalez (groin)
Limited: TE Jacob Tamme (concussion)
DNP: RB Joseph Addai (hamstring), LB Pat Angerer(knee), OT Anthony Castonzo (ankle), LB Kavell Conner (knee), OG/OT Ryan Diem (ankle), TE Brody Eldridge (knee), DE Dwight Freeney(rest), P Pat McAfee (hamstring), DT Drake Nevis (back), OGMike Pollak (hamstring)
For a second consecutive season the Colts cannot buy a break from the injury bug. The injured reserve list already includes starting linebacker Gary Brackett, starting strong safety Melvin Bullitt, rookie tackle Benjamin Ijalana, fullback Chris Gronkowski, veteran quarterback Kerry Collins, backup guard Jaimie Thomas, and rotational defensive tackle Eric Foster. This, of course, does not include those players who are still active but have missed games (Peyton Manning, Anthony Castonzo, Joseph Addai, Drake Nevis, Ryan Diem).
If Colts fans thought the 2010 season was an exceptionally bad year, and that the injuries in 2010 were not only the worst in the NFL but potentially in franchise history. If Colts fans were hoping for a regression to the mean — for fewer missed games due to injury — they will have to wait look for it another season. 2011 is not going to be that year.