Colts rule out Leonard, Castonzo vs. Browns

INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts will be missing two of their most important players on offense and defense in their biggest game of the season at Cleveland this weekend.

Starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo and All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard have been officially ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Browns, coach Frank Reich said Friday.

Castonzo and Leonard suffered rib and groin injuries, respectively, in the Colts’ win at Chicago in Week 4. Leonard missed the second half of the game against the Bears due to the injury.

Neither Castonzo or Leonard practiced this week. Reich did not give a timetable on when he expects Leonard and Castonzo to return. After playing at Cleveland, the Colts host Cincinnati in Week 6 before having a bye in Week 7.

Not having Castonzo ends a string of 22 straight starts starts by the Colts’ offensive lineman, which includes two playoff games.

Le’Raven Clark will start at left tackle and have the challenge of trying to slow Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett, who is tied for the league high in sacks with five this season.

“With Myles Garrett and what they do defensively, they move him around,” Reich said. “I’m sure he’ll switch sides. That’s nothing new for him. They’ll want to test out Le’Raven. We have our plans on how we’ll handle those things. We go into every week with a protection plan no matter who we’re playing.”

Leonard, the leader of the Colts’ defense, has a team-high 27 tackles. The Colts have been the stingiest defense in the league, giving up a league low in yards (236.3) and points (14.0).

Sunday will be the best test of the season defensively for the Colts. Cleveland leads the league in rushing (204.5) and is fourth in points 31.0.

Third-year linebacker Zaire Franklin is the leading candidate to join Bobby Okereke and Anthony Walker, who is dealing with an ankle injury, in the starting lineup to replace Leonard.

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