Colts Injury Update: Hugh Thornton Week-to-Week


According to Indianapolis Colts head Coach Chuck Pagano, starting right guard Hugh Thornton has a sprained MCL and is “week-to-week”. Thornton suffered the injury early in the 3rd quarter of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and did not return.

Pagano was noncommital in who might replace Thornton on the right side, but specifically mentioned Xavier Nixon, Joe Reitz, and A.Q. Shipley as distinct possibilities. Given past diagnoses, there’s a strong possibility that Thornton will miss this upcoming weekend’s game against the Washington Redskins, and fans will see one of the latter 3 replacing him. One noticeable omission from the list of candidates was veteran guard Lance Louis, who appears to have fallen out of favor on the depth chart after making 4 starts for the Colts previously on the season.

However, Thornton’s loss is not as big of a blow as you may initially think. As mentioned, Thornton struggled in yesterday’s game even before his injury:

"“The former 3rd round pick of the Colts in 2013 left the game in the 3rd quarter because of a knee injury, and while that shouldn’t be held against him, one could make a strong argument that the offensive line played much better in his absence in the 2nd half. ProFootballFocus re-echoed this sentiment, as Thornton was given a -2.9 overall grade, including a -3.3 in pass blocking.”"

It’s possible that his replacement could actually upgrade the offensive line, as Thornton has struggled a bit in recent weeks. While his injury is unfortunate, it could serve as a blessing in disguise, as it allows the Colts to see if there’s a better option available without formally benching him.

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Another Colt who also may be out is back-up cornerback and special teams standout, Loucheiz Purifoy, who is currently going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Purifoy suffered the injury in the 2nd half of yesterday’s game and did not return.

The Colts did receive some positive health news though, as Pagano also indicated that starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus should be ready to play this weekend. Cherlius had missed yesterday’s game because of a lingering shoulder injury and received some much needed rest. Pagano also noted that starting cornerback Greg Toler should also return on Sunday, who is still trying to pass the NFL’s concussion protocol himself after missing yesterday’s game.

Nov 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy (23) downs a punt inside the 1-yard line during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports