Steelers Nation got another bout of dark news today as the site Scout.com broke the news that starting right tackle Willie Colon injured his Achilles tendon.
The Steelers have confirmed the injury, but are not ready to comment on its severity. However, the Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac is reporting that NFL.com has already announced that Colon has a torn Achilles tendon, and injury that would end his 2010 season.
This is not only the second injury, but the second torn Achilles tendon injury to hit the Steelers in their, to borrow Queen Elizabeth II’s parlance, “offseason horribilis.”
Essex to Fill the Void?
Steel Curtain Rising will reflect on the implications of Colon’s misfortune in greater depth once the full extend of his injury is known. But at this juncture one stark reality stands out:
- The Steelers have suffered a devastating injury at the position where they are the thinnest.
At least in terms of quantity, if not quality, the Steelers have decent depth at most positions on the roster, but offensive tackle is not one of them.
Behind starters Willie Colon and Max Starks the Steelers have Tony Hills, their 4th round draft pick from 2008 who has yet to dress for, let alone play in, a game, Chris Scott who was their fifth round selection in the 2010 draft, and Jonathan Scott, whom they signed from the Bills in free agency.
Scott, Jonahtan that is, came off the bench to start 8 games for the Bills last year and is said to have serviceable but far from spectacular skills. He now could be a candidate to replace Colon.
The most likely scenario would see Trai Essex moving from right guard to right tackle. Essex has experience playing at tackle, getting work there as early as his rookie year in 2005.
He came off the bench to start at left tackle after injuries felled both Marvel Smith and Max Starks at the end of the 2007 season, and acquitted himself well.
In 2008 he was the first man off of the bench when Smith was lost again against Jacksonville, although the Jaguar defenders threw him aside like a rag doll en route to Ben Roethlisberger. No heads were scratched when Starks started the next game.
Still, if the Steelers could do a lot better than Essex at right tackle, they could probably manage to do worse, for whatever that is worth.
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