The Colts' offensive line is officially a mess

INDIANAPOLIS -- After three weeks of training camp, four preseason games and more than a handful of practices at their facility, it’s time for the regular season to start for the Indianapolis Colts.

And just like when they reported to training camp at Anderson (Indiana) University on July 23, the Colts head into the regular season with legitimate concerns about their offensive line outside of starting tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus.

The projected starters on the interior of the offensive line -- center Khaled Holmes, guard Hugh Thornton and guard Jack Mewhort -- only played a few snaps together because of injuries.

Holmes sprained his ankle on the first series in the preseason opener against the New York Jets on Aug. 7. He has yet to practice and the Colts are "hopeful" that he will be ready for the Sept. 7 game in Denver. It’s not like Holmes has an an upper body injury that would allow him to work on his conditioning while injured. He will need some time to work himself back into shape.

The youth and lack of practice time for the interior part of the offensive line is a scary thought when you take into account the Colts are about to face the team that represented the AFC in the Super Bowl last season. It's definitely not good for quarterback Andrew Luck and the running backs.

That is only the start of the problems for the offensive line.

Jonotthan Harrison, Xavier Nixon and Joe Reitz were also injured in the preseason. It got so bad that defensive end Tyler Hoover played 56 snaps at tackle against Cincinnati on Thursday.

"We’ve got a lot of injuries," coach Chuck Pagano said. "We don’t have a lot of time. And you know what? Nobody really cares, and nobody really feels sorry for us. So, it’s next man up."

Don’t get too excited about the 53-man roster once the Colts release it this weekend. The moving parts on the roster won’t stop after that because GM Ryan Grigson will be paying attention to the waiver wire so he can add some more bodies to the offensive line.

It has gotten to that point for the Colts before they have even played one regular-season game.

The Colts have plenty of playmakers at quarterback, receiver, tight end and potentially at running back. But none of that will matter if the five guys up front can’t run block or pass protect. And right now, you have to wonder if they will be able to do those things.