If there is one thing that has remained consistent about the Andrew Luck-led version of the Indianapolis Colts, it has been the relative weakness of their offensive line. (And their defense, but just go with me here.) Despite the fact that the Colts had Luck on a considerably below-market deal for four seasons, they declined to spend that extra money to support him with adequate protection, instead banking on his size and ability to take hits to keep him upright. And for a while, it worked.
Luck took more hits during his first three seasons than any other quarterback in the league during that time, yet he somehow managed to play all 48 regular season games and each of the Colts’ six playoff games. In 2015, though, Luck lasted only three games before he got injured. He came back soon after, lasted four more games, and then went out for the season.
This year, the Colts finally devoted another draft pick to the offensive line, nabbing former Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the first round. Still, owner Jim Irsay remains concerned about the state of the offensive line heading into 2016.
“I’m concerned like any fan out there,” Irsay said at a charity function on Tuesday, per CBS4 in Indianapolis. “I think we can get it stabilized, but obviously the Eagles game was concerning, and until we prove otherwise, we’re going to be tested every play.”
The Eagles game Irsay refers to really was ugly. Luck was sacked three times in 22 drop backs and the running game yielded only 10 yards on nine carries from the first-team backs. And guard Jack Mewhort left with an injury that will likely keep him out at least a few weeks.
The Colts don’t have much in the way of dynamic talent coming out of the backfield, so it’s probably more important for them to be good in pass protection than in the running game. That way, they can let Luck do his thing. Or as Irsay said, “We protect Andrew and good things are going to happen.” They certainly have to hope so.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Jim Irsay on Colts offensive line: ‘I’m concerned like any fan out there’