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INDIANAPOLIS – Anthony Castonzo sounded on Wednesday like a player much more confident about himself playing in Week Two.
Castonzo was still listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s first practice of the week, but made it clear that he plans to play on Sunday against the Washington Football Team, after missing the regular season opener.
“I’m excited to have a full week of practice and get out there and play,” a more confident sounding Castonzo said on Wednesday.
The veteran left tackle did not play in Week One after practicing on a limited basis Wednesday-Friday. Before September, Castonzo had barely practiced in the preseason, missing a month after re-tweaking a hamstring injury.
This past Sunday, Castonzo missed his first game with Andrew Luck under center. It was a rare absence for Castonzo, who has missed just 4 games since his 2011 rookie season. The long-term risk of potentially tweaking his hamstring again was the determining factor in Castonzo being inactive against the Bengals.
With Castonzo out, the Colts had Joe Haeg see his first NFL regular season action at left tackle. Haeg, the team’s normal right tackle, held his own in flipping over to the blindside.
The domino effect of Castonzo being out had veteran J’Marcus Webb starting at right tackle in Week One. Webb hurt his right hamstring though on the late fumble return for a touchdown. He was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
With Castonzo expected to return this week, it’s likely that Haeg goes back to right tackle, where he’s started 20 games in his career. Rookie Braden Smith replaced Webb on the game’s final play in Week One and is the team’s emergency tackle with Denzelle Good still working his way back from a left knee injury.
Luck is pretty happy to have his buddy back.
“Certainly having Anthony back is a plus,” No. 12 said on Wednesday. “I think he’s elite at what he does. He’s an elite left tackle and he’s also a great friend of mine, so it’s great to have one of your friends back in the huddle. I’m excited for him. He’s excited as well.”
Wednesday’s practice did have Marlon Mack participating for a third consecutive session. He was, again, a limited participant.
The second-year running back was limited on Thursday and Friday, before being inactive against the Bengals.
Mack first injured his hamstring in the Aug. 9 preseason opener, sitting out nearly a month before returning to practice last week.
With Mack out on Sunday, the Colts started rookie Jordan Wilkins at running back.
The running back snaps in Week One went as followed:
- Jordan Wilkins: 46 snaps (14 carries for 40 yards, 3 catches for 21 yards)
- Nyheim Hines: 37 snaps (5 carries for 19 yards, 7 catches for 33 yards)
- Christine Michael: 3 snaps (2 carries for 9 yards)
If Mack can practice full later on Thursday, his season debut could possibly come Sunday.
Here is Wednesday’s injury report:
DNP: OT-Denzelle Good (knee/wrist), CB-Chris Milton (concussion)
–Bowen’s Analysis: Good isn’t expected to be back this week. Milton got hurt in Week One.
LIMITED: DL-Denico Autry (ankle), OT-Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), S-Clayton Geathers (safety), RB-Marlon Mack (hamstring), DT-Grover Stewart (shoulder)
–Bowen’s Analysis: Couple of defensive starters on this list. We will see if they progress on Thursday and Friday.
FULL: WR-Ryan Grant (chest)
–Bowen’s Analysis: Grant had 8 catches in 9 targets on Sunday. He will be playing his former team in Week Two.