The offensive line for the Indianapolis Colts got banged up early during their first victory of the season against the Minnesota Vikings. The maligned offensive line has already faced protection issues, forcing rookie quarterback Andrew Luck to work his magic on the run more times than he should. Considering the lack of continuity and mounting injuries, the line has done a serviceable job over the first two games.
The Colts offensive line began the game behind the 8-ball, because of injuries to guard Joe Reitz and tackle Winston Justice. Justice missed the game due to a concussion, and Reitz was sidelined with a leg injury. Starting center Samson Satele suffered a leg injury late in the first half of the game, and was not able to return. Trai Essex, who had been with the team for only a few days, saw his first game action in Satele’s absence. Essex played the right guard position, while starting right guard Mike McGlynn moved over to play center for the remainder of the game. McGlynn lasted played center for for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010.
“Center has always been a comfortable position for me,” McGlynn said. “I know there are going to be things for me to work on, so I’ll go ahead look at the film, look at the good things, look at the bad things and move on to next week.”
Fighting through injuries and fending off the Viking’s pass rush was no easy task, and this patchwork offensive line held their ground well in the face of adversity. Essex did have one false start call against him as the Colts attempted to close out Minnesota, but held his ground well considering he literally stepped into the job with little to no practice on the team. The Colts only gave up two sacks during the game. One of the sacks was for an 18-yard loss, but that was mostly due to Luck scrambling in the wrong direction.
This offensive line is literally having growing pains early in the season. If the injuries can subside, then this team will finally be able to get proper time to gel and improve. Considering the situations, the Indianapolis offensive lineman made the most of using their “next man up’ philosophy.