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INDIANAPOLIS – One of three Colts’ offensive players who has played every snap this season is now on injured reserve.

 

The surprise move on Monday evening has veteran guard Matt Slauson on IR, with an unknown injury.

 

Slauson played all 83 snaps in last Thursday’s loss to the Patriots and has been on the field for all 376 of the team’s offensive snaps this season.

 

The 32-year-old guard, who was also the team’s emergency center, wasn’t on the practice field Monday, but was seen in the locker room with no noticeable injury.

 

With Slauson joining offensive linemen Joe Haeg and J’Marcus Webb on injured reserve, the Colts signed guard/center Evan Boehm off the Ram’s practice squad. Boehm (6-3 and 310 pounds) has played in 31 career games (9 starts) over three seasons in the NFC West. Boehm played with the Cardinals from 2016-17 before joining the Rams after preseason cuts last month. Boehm was a fourth-round pick out of Missouri in the 2016 Draft.

 

How the Colts handle the replacement for Slauson doesn’t have an obvious decision.

 

The expected season debut of Anthony Castonzo this Sunday should offer the Colts a few more options along the right side of their offensive line.

 

The team could insert second-round pick Braden Smith at right guard. Frank Reich said Smith “exceeded expectations” in his starting right tackle debut last Thursday. However, Smith’s more natural position is right guard and he was actually competing with Slauson for that job late in the preseason.

 

Using Smith at right guard would then allow for the Colts to have Le’Raven Clark or Denzelle Good at right tackle. Both guys have started there before. Good has yet to return to the team after tragically losing his brother last Tuesday. With Good missing the New England game, the Colts used Smith at right tackle and had Clark starting at left tackle for Castonzo for a fourth straight game.

 

While Slauson going to injured reserve does hurt the Colts’ short-term depth along the offensive line, it could be beneficial moving forward. Placing Smith in as the starting right guard would give the rookie major playing time at the position this team felt like was his best long-term fit in the NFL.

 

Slauson was extremely durable in the first four years of his career (2010-13), playing/starting in all 64 games. But 3 of Slauson’s last 5 seasons have seen him play in less than half of the games, including back-to-back years on injured reserve before the midway point of the season. A torn bicep ended Slauson’s 2017 season.

 

Of Chris Ballard’s three significant free agent signings on the offensive line, none have panned out. Brian Schwenke (2017 signee) and Austin Howard (2018 signee) never made the team’s 53-man roster. And now Slauson’s stint in Indianapolis is over after just 5 games. Slauson signed a one-year deal with the Colts back in March.

 

While it’s not likely, the Colts could bring Slauson back later in the season, but he must miss at least 8 weeks of action.