Chuck Pagano’s 1st NFL win came at a pretty steep cost.
Less than 24 hours after beating St. Louis 38-3 in the preseason opener, the Colts’ new coach said starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer, last year’s leading tackler, could miss at least 6 weeks as a result of a broken foot.
It’s a big loss for a team trying to make a turnaround after a dismal 2-14 season gave them the No. One pick in April’s draft.
”He’s the signal-caller, he is the guy that stands in front of the huddle,” Pagano recounted. ”When you lose your middle backer for an extended period of time, it hurts quite a lot, and the man is a warrior, he’s a Colt, he’s got all of Colt characteristics you’re looking for. Now it will be up to somebody else to step up and fill that gap until we get him back.’‘
Angerer led the Colts with 146 tackles last season after replacing Captain Gary Brackett, who missed almost all of the season with a torn rotator cuff.
Pagano further said backup linebacker Scott Lutrus will need season-ending surgery after a torn ACL, starting offensive guard Mike McGlynn will be out indefinitely as a result of a high ankle sprain and backup RBs Mewelde Moore and Delone Carter both have injured ribs that would keep them out of action, as well. Vegas odds
The combination could leave the Colts thin at 2 key positions – linebacker and RB – heading into Sunday night’s game against Pittsburgh Steelers.
The problems at linebacker are of bigger concern, though, as Indy makes the change from a traditional 4-3 look to a 3-4 scheme. The move had already pushed Pagano to move Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Mathis to linebacker and use another Pro Bowl defensive end, Dwight Freeney, in a standup spot, too.
Then, on the 1st day of training camp, the Colts lost linebacker A.J. Edds in a non-contact drill with a left knee injury. A couple of days later, Pagano confirmed Edds would miss the season with a ‘’serious’’ injury to his anterior cruciate ligament.
New GM Ryan Grigson has attempted to add some reinforcements, picking up linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd in a trade with Philadelphia Eagles.
Who will replace Angerer? That’s still up in the air.
”Obviously, a good move by Ryan getting 2 linebackers in here from Philly, so we have them,” Pagano said. ”Jerrell Freeman played well and the other guys played well, and we’ve got Mario Harvey, who’s been a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. We’ll continue to take a look at the waiver wire and see whether there’s anybody there that we have had some kind of history with and perhaps bring somebody in.”
Pagano did not say which foot Angerer injured.
One player who is available is Brackett, the longtime linebacker who was released by the Colts in a March salary-cap purge, though it’s unclear whether the Colts (No. 32 in the AP Pro32) would have an interest in him.
Pagano didn’t say how much time he was expecting McGlynn to miss. It’s the 2nd major injury to the offensive line. Ben Ijalana, last year’s 2nd-round pick, will miss the entire season after hurting the ACL in his left knee on the 1st day of practice.