While Tom Brady’s contract situation has dominated the headlines of late, Peyton Manning is also readying to begin his contract year without a new deal.
And it appears Manning is going to start the season with what could be the shakiest looking protection of his career.
As Florio mentioned earlier, Colts left tackle Charlie Johnson was limited in practice Wednesday. He hasn’t fully practiced in a month. Johnson wasn’t sure about his ability to play Sunday. The next guy in line, Tony Ugoh, was out of practice completely. He’s been out over two weeks.
Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star points out that undrafted rookie tackle Jeff Linkenbach is next in line to play left tackle.
Look, we know Johnson and Ugoh aren’t that great to begin with. Peyton Manning essentially protects himself by knowing where the defense is coming from and getting rid of the ball quickly.
The Colts are pushing the limits of this replaceable parts theory, though. They may be trusting their franchise, and Manning may be trusting his next deal, on Jeff Linkenbach matching up with Mario Williams.
If ever there was a time for the Texans to get over the hump and beat the Colts, this has to be it.
UPDATE: Ugoh was waived/injured. Didn’t see that coming.