Colts right tackle Braden Smith inactive against Packers
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts will not have starting right tackle Braden Smith for today's game against the Green Bay Packers.
The news comes as a surprise after coach Frank Reich said Friday that he thought Smith (thumb) was "good to go." Smith initially appeared on the Colts' injury report Thursday, when he was limited with a thumb issue. He did not practice Friday.
For Smith, it's his first missed start since he was inserted into the starting lineup Week 5 of his rookie season (2018). That amounts to 39 consecutive starts, a streak that will be snapped today.
Le'Raven Clark is likely to start in Smith's stead. Clark started one game this season, filling in for Anthony Castonzo at left tackle against the Cleveland Browns. Clark struggled in that game, though he was facing one of the best defensive ends in football, Myles Garrett.
Chaz Green is also a candidate to start.
Among the Colts other significant inactives are cornerback and kickoff returner Isaiah Rodgers (knee) as well as defensive end Ben Banogu. Rodgers is one of four kick returners to have scored a touchdown this season. He ranks second in the league behind only Bears' return man Cordarrelle Patterson (30.27) in kick return average (29.83).
With Ashton Dulin out as well, running back and punt returner Nyheim Hines could be a candidate to return kicks today, as could fellow running back Jordan Wilkins and undrafted wide receiver DeMichael Harris.
Banogu, a 2019 second-round pick, sits out his third consecutive game.
The Colts other inactives are tight end Noah Togiai (knee), linebacker Matthew Adams, quarterback Jacob Eason and wide receiver Dezmon Patmon. Not listed there is pass-rusher Kemoko Turay.
The 25-year-old makes his return to the field after a 13-month absence. He hasn't played a game since exiting the Colts' dramatic Week 5 against the Chiefs last year after dislocating his ankle, fracturing a joint and tearing a deltoid ligament while sacking league MVP Patrick Mahomes.
The Colts activated Turay off of the PUP list earlier this week and listed him as questionable on their official injury report. It looks like he will play, though Reich said he will be on a pitch count.
Follow IndyStar Colts Insider Jim Ayello on Twitter: @jimayello.