As if the Steelers’ 35-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens wasn’t enough, right tackle Willie Colon suffered a torn tricep during the game. That just adds insult to injury. Or perhaps it adds injury to insult? Or maybe it adds injury to injury? Oh heck, let’s just say that it makes a bad situation worse. Much worse.
Apparently, Colon was injured with about 4 minutes left in the game. He never came out of the game due to the injury, and the Steelers made no announcements about Colon’s injury immediately following the game. But according to Colon’s agent, Joe Linta, Colon was injured and will have surgery today. The surgery will keep colon out “indefinitely”.
As you probably recall, Colon missed all of the 2010 season with a torn Achilles tendon. So this will make the second consecutive season that Colon is unavailable for duty.
The Steelers had signed Colon to a new 5-year, $29 million contract back in July because he looked healthy and ready for duty. Oops!
With Colon out, a weak Steelers offensive line just got weaker. Right guard Doug Legursky was clearly struggling on Sunday. Without Colon, the Steelers may have to use Colon’s back-up, Chris Scott. Unfortunately, Scott has never played in an NFL game. In fact, he’s never even dressed for an NFL game. So inserting him into the line-up will likely make the right side of the line even weaker. Yikes!
The Steelers do have other options. Trai Essex has played right tackle. Or the team could move left tackle Jonathan Scott to right tackle. Scott has struggled at left tackle, and I’ve never felt that he was the team’s long-term solution at the position. Moving Scott to right tackle would mean that the Steelers would likely have rookie Marcus Gilbert play left tackle. It was believed that Gilbert would someday become the Steelers’ left tackle, but he didn’t win the position in training camp, and may not be ready to start yet. But he may have no choice.
Another potential solution would be for the Steelers to re-sign Flozell Adams. Adams played the position last year when Colon was hurt. Moreover, he played it well. Aside from Maurkice Pouncey, I thought that Adams was their most consistent offensive lineman.
Adams wasn’t brought back this year because Colon had returned, and Adams refused to take a pay cut. But now, with Colon out, the Steelers may need to bring Adams back.
Another potential option is former Steelers tackle Max Starks. Starks has started at both right and left tackle for the Steelers in the past. However, Starks was not signed this year because he was out of shape.
It will become apparent soon enough how the Steelers plan to replace Colon. Regardless of what they do, it’s clear that the offensive line has the potential to be a problem this year. Let’s hope the Steelers fix the problems sooner, rather than later.
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