It was a promising showing by the Indianapolis Colts in their first pre-season game, including, surprisingly, the first team offensive line. That is, until, Khaled Holmes hurt his ankle.
Now, thankfully, he will be back in time for the season opener, but missing these next few weeks will really hurt in gaining chemistry with his fellow linemen and quarterback Andrew Luck.
I have a lot of faith in Holmes, I expect him to become a good center in the NFL, if he could only stay healthy. After he left the game with a sprained ankle, there were several botched snaps and the running game suffered noticeably.
Another year of watching runs get stuffed every first down will not be good for a Colts team looking to make a super bowl run. They really need improvement form the interior of that line.
Having to start a rookie in Jack Mewhort will already be a tough adjustment to make, though I can’t see him being any worse than Mike McGlynn. He also did a nice job in his first pre-season game and should only improve from here.
Even with Donald Thomas on IR, if Holmes, Mewhort and Hugh Thornton can stay healthy I expect this offensive line to be improved and to help out Trent Richardson and the run game.
This is crucial to the offenses success last year. The offense has acquired and reacquired some great talent in Dwayne Allen, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks and Donte Moncrief, but another year of atrocious running will almost certainly hurt that array of weapons.
Holmes has to be back by the season opener, and he has to be healthy. There is so much promise in this offense and he is one of the key cogs to their success.
In the meantime, we will have to watch and see if there are any worthy replacements for Holmes during the pre-season, just in case he can’t make it in time for the season opener.
Let’s hope that won’t be the case though, and that the Colts are at full strength by the season opener against the Denver Broncos. Go Colts!