Indianapolis Colts Lose Tight End Dallas Clark For Rest Of The Season

Ocotber 23, 2010 – By Scott

Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark have developed into one of he most proficient quarterback-tight end combinations in NFL history and have connected for 44 touchdowns during their time together. This total will remain at 44 for the rest of the 2010 NFL Season as the Indianapolis Colts put Clark on injured reserve on Friday and he will have season-ending surgery on his wrist.

Indianapolis did not say when or how he injured his wrist, but he appeared to have hurt it in their October 17 win over the Washington Redskins. The All-Pro tight end ranks third on the team with 37 catches for 347 yards and looks to bounce back next year which will be his ninth season in the league.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s been confirmed that surgery is necessary to repair the injury to my wrist,” Clark said in a statement released by the team. “I look forward to supporting my teammates the rest of this season and rehabilitating my wrist back to full strength for next season.”

The problem now for the Colts is their lack of depth at the tight end position. They have three other tight ends on their roster, including rookie Brody Elridge who has just 3 catches for 23 yards this year. The other two are Jacob Tamme and Justin Snow who both play mostly on special teams. The did however re-sign Gijon Robinson on Wednesday.

Now, it appears as though Manning’s list of go-to playmakers is diminishing. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are available, but Austin Collie had surgery on his thumb this week and the Colts do not know when he will return. Receiver Anthony Gonzalez has also been battling back from a high ankle sprain. And now, Clark is gone for the year.

The loss of Clark will definitely have an impact on the Colts for the rest of the season. Over the past two seasons, Clark has caught 177 passes and produced the first 1,000-yard season of his career, as well as becoming only the second tight end to have 100 catches in a season.

How well their backups respond will dictate how their season will turn out. It seems odd to place so much emphasis on the loss of a tight end, but what Clark has meant to Manning and the Colts is clearly a valid exception. Indianalpolis (4-2) will have an extra week to prepare a new tight end as they do not play again until November 1 when they host Houston in a critical conference matchup.

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