The 10-5 Indianapolis Colts need a win in Week 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars if they want a chance to get back into the postseason, but they will have to do so without one of their best offensive linemen. On Wednesday, Colts head coach Frank Reich informed reporters that left tackle Anthony Castonzo would be undergoing season-ending ankle surgery, per the NFL Network.
Castonzo has missed two out of the last four games due to injury, but his ankle issue is something that popped up just this past week. He suffered an MCL sprain during the Colts' Week 12 loss to the Tennessee Titans, which caused him to miss the very next game. Castonzo then returned but only played 75 percent of offensive snaps in the Week 14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft became a mainstay on Indy's injury report, and the team decided it was better to shut him down for the rest of the season so that they can have him back healthy for 2021. Unfortunately, Castonzo's backup, Le'Raven Clark, was placed on injured reserve earlier this month, so the Colts will have to roll with Chaz Green or Will Holden on the left side, though they do have the option to kick All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson outside as well.
There are five 10-5 teams in the AFC entering the final week of the regular season, including the Colts, and one club is going to be on the outside looking in when the playoff bracket is finally established. If the Colts, Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins all win this Sunday, then it will be the Colts who are given a long offseason. They would become just the third 11-win team in NFL history to miss the playoffs. If they do get into the playoffs with another 10-5 team losing on Sunday, it certainly will be difficult to compete in the postseason without Castonzo.