As it stands at this early stage, things do not look good for right tackle Willie Colon. Colon suffered a right Achilles injury today while working out at Steelers\’ headquarters. Colon left the facility on crutches and the ever important MRI results are now awaited. If he has indeed torn Achilles tendon, he will be lost for the season and might have played his final game in the black and gold.
If indeed he misses any time, the Steelers have several options. Jonathan Scott was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Bills in the offseason where he started eight games under new offensive line coach, Sean Kugler, who coached in Buffalo last season. Another option is under performing Tony Hills, who has been reportedly working at right tackle during the Spring and Summer for the Steelers. Hills was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft and after initially being tried on the left side, has been given one last shot at making the team on the right side of the line.
Another obvious option is thanks to the fast progress rookie first round pick Maurkice Pouncey has made. Pouncey could indeed replace current right guard Trai Essex and Essex then could slide over to tackle, a position he is indeed familiar with. Essex played left tackle before moving to the right guard position. One final option, that is unlikely in my opinion, would be to move Max Starks back over to right tackle and allow Essex to play the left tackle spot or battle for the spot with Ramon Foster or the rookie Chris Scott from Tennessee. I do not think that scenario is likely as the left tackle position needs to protect the blindside of the quarterback and Starks has the experience there.
Make no mistake that Colon will be missed, if indeed he is gone for the year. Colon was regarded as the 3rd best tackle in league last year and the top ranked right tackle according to metrics kept by Pro Football Focus. Let us just hope it is not a season ending injury right now, but those are the options if indeed it is.