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INDIANAPOLISThe Colts will have no bigger medical decision regarding a free agent this offseason than projecting the 31-year-old Eric Fisher.

Unsurprisingly, Fisher had some struggles last season in playing less than 10 months after tearing his Achilles.

Fisher was far better in the run blocking game than he was in the protection game. In pass pro, Fisher’s inability to fortify the left tackle spot led to several game-changing moments that cost the Colts.

Simply, the Colts did not get the $8.3 million return that they gave to Fisher.

Whereas the Colts initially brought Fisher to Indy thinking this would be a two-year relationship at left tackle, some doubt has crept in on that second season.

Turning to an in-house option behind Fisher for 2022 is not realistic though, particularly because the Colts have inexplicably ignored offensive tackle in the Chris Ballard drafting tenure.

So, the options for left tackle in 2022 seem to be either retaining Fisher, making a notable free agent signee or relying on a rookie tackle drafted outside of Round 1.

Much of this decision is going to come down to the medicals on Fisher.

Some would say a player entering his second season removed from Achilles rehab is due for an improvement, compared to the level of play reached in that first season post-surgery.

With advancement in Achilles rehab, some would also counter and say what you saw from Fisher in 2021 is who he will be for the rest of his career.

The Colts sound like they believe in the former.

“I know he had some struggles late with pass pro, but he fights his ass to get back off the Achilles,” Ballard says of Fisher’s 2021 campaign. “He ends up playing pretty decent football without an offseason, without being here. He was really good in the run game. We are asking him to do different things from a pass protection standpoint that he really didn’t get a chance to work on. I think Fish will tell you that there are moments in pass pro he should be better.

“Fish has a lot of good football left.”

Ballard saying that the Colts were asking Fisher to do some things differently makes the thought of signing him last offseason—knowing he would be missing precious practice/preseason time to drill through a new protection approach—a bit more puzzling.

Nonetheless, the Colts don’t have many obvious other answers at left tackle.

Is another year of Fisher at left tackle the most likely route?

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