News from the last day of Indianapolis Colts training camp today, as multiple sources are reporting that starting center Ryan Kelly will require surgery for a foot injury sustained during practice. Kelly, the Colts first round pick in the 2016 draft, injured his foot at practice during training camp on August 10th. He has been sitting out since then, with most people believing that it has been a precautionary measure by Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. The news today fully repudiates that belief. The current timetable is unknown, but Kelly will end up missing regular season time – the only question is how much.
Ryan Kelly Will Require Surgery for Foot Injury
News: Ryan Kelly needs surgery. Rest didn't work per Pagano.
Other Options Available
With Kelly on the sidelines, the Colts have to look at their available options at center. That includes options currently on the roster, including free agent signing Brian Schwenke formerly of the Tennessee Titans. Schwenke, going into his 5th year, played in 41 games with the Titans and started 28 of them. The Titans chose not to resign him when his rookie deal was up. Durability is an issue for Schwenke, as 2016 was the first season in his professional career where he played at least 12 games. Schwenke is also nursing a foot injury and is currently on the Colts Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
The Colts have also been trying out camp body Deyshawn Bond at the center position during camp. Bond, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Cincinnati, started in place of Kelly in the Colts first preseason game against the Detroit Lions. The rookie played in 48 games (starting 47) during his four years at Cincinnati. Bond found himself on the All-American Athletic Conference second team in 2015 and the Freshman All-America second-team by CollegeFootballNews.com in 2013. Bond is also an Indianapolis native, so his ties to the team (and city) are already strong, as he attended local Warren Central High School before going to college.
Answers Available in Free Agency
Veteran center Jeremy Zuttah was also brought in by the team for a workout earlier this week, and head coach Chuck Pagano has stated that the team will continue to explore options on the free agent market. Zuttah, 31, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Zuttah spent last season on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, one year removed from earning Pro Bowl honors with the Baltimore Ravens (replacing Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey). If the Colts see Zuttah as a potential replacement for Kelly to start the season, they’ll have to move quickly. The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly already close to a deal with the free agent center.
More Injury Concerns Shed Dark Shadows Over Colts Season
Knowing that Ryan Kelly will require surgery is just another mark on an already disappointing list of injured players during training camp. Star quarterback Andrew Luck is still on the PUP list following off-season shoulder surgery and 2017 first-round pick Malik Hooker has sat out the past three days of practice. As the injuries pile up, the Colts chances of regaining dominance atop the perennially disappointing AFC South seem less and less likely.
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