Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark has been ruled out indefinitely with a hand/wrist injury, according to Colts President Bill Polian.
Polian discussed Dallas Clark's injury in an article written today by Phil Richards for IndyStar.com.
“He’s got an injury to his wrist, which is a relatively rare injury. He’s visiting a doctor in Cleveland today. He’s due to come in and talk late this afternoon when he gets back and I get back. I don’t know what the prognosis is. This is not the kind of injury that is very common where our doctors can say ‘Hey, look, this is a four-week injury or this is a six-week injury.'"
Clark has been seen wearing a protective brace at Colts practice this week, and he is seeking a second opinion on his injury, which leads us to believe surgery to repair the damage is quite likely.
If so, Clark will miss the remainder of the season, leaving Indianapolis without its most versatile player.
Dallas is as good at receiving as he is at blocking, making him usable in any situation.
One of the best tight ends in football, he is tied for fourth in receptions with 37. Of his 37 catches, 21 have gone for first downs.
Clark has emerged as Peyton Manning's favorite target, and the Colts do not have a backup good enough to replace even half of Clark's production.
Clark's backup is Jacob Tamme, who has zero catches this season, and will not likely see an increased offensive role.
Instead, the Colts offense will rely on second-tier receivers Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon to play bigger roles. Collie has been very impressive this season, and Garcon had his best game of the year last Sunday night versus Washington.
Clark causes bad matchups for opposing defenses. He is too fast for linebackers and too strong for safeties.
Without Clark, Peyton Manning will look to stretch the field more vertically.
Veteran receiver Reggie Wayne and second-year standout Collie are proven deep threats, but the loss of a reliable, sure-handed target in the middle of the field will doom the Colts.
The Colts may also be without running back Joseph Addai for an extended amount of time. Their running game with Addai was already lacking, however, Donald Brown will be fully recovered after this week's bye and ready to go for Week 8.
The Colts are 20th in total rushing yards, 26th in yards per carry and 24th in rush yards per game.
Indianapolis has gotten away with being a one-dimensional offensive team this season, but without Dallas Clark, the Colts cannot rely on Peyton Manning to win them every game.
With a poor defense, a lackluster rushing attack, and the loss of their most important and versatile offensive weapon, the Indianapolis Colts 2010 season is officially over.