If the Colts are going to win on Sunday in Houston and keep their chances of winning the AFC South alive, they’ll have to do it without two of their starting offensive linemen.
Interim head coach Bruce Arians announced Friday that neither center Samson Satele or left tackle Winston Justice will make the trip to Houston. Neither player practiced at all this week, although Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star reports that Justice tried to practice on Friday before his biceps injury made it impossible for him to get through the session. Jeff Linkenbach will start in his place.
Satele will miss the game with an ankle injury, leaving A.Q. Shipley to start at center and make the line call against one of the league’s best defenses. Arians said he isn’t worried about Shipley’s ability to handle the job, but he is worried about any other injuries up front on offense.
“He’s had to do it a couple times now, so he’s used to it. That’s probably the least of my concerns, him getting his calls and making everything right,” Arians said. “We cannot, obviously, afford any injuries in this ball game up front. We’ll be pretty thin.”
Quarterback Andrew Luck has taken a lot of hits this season behind his regular offensive line. With the injuries and this Texans defense, he’ll probably be in line for more on Sunday.