Nov 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Hugh Thornton (69) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Colts 40-11. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Indianapolis Colts announced today that they have placed 2nd-year offensive guard Hugh Thornton on injured reserve and signed running back Michael Hill to the active roster in a corresponding move. It marks the second consecutive week that the team has placed a former starting offensive lineman on injured reserve, as was the case previously with Gosder Cherilus last week.
A 3rd round pick of the Colts in 2013, Thornton made the team’s 1st 12 starts of the regular season before suffering a knee injury. He missed nearly the next 5 weeks because of injury, although he did appear in the team’s final regular season game against the Tennessee Titans.
It’s worth noting that what was once a listed knee injury had changed to a shoulder injury in recent weeks on the team’s official injury report. Thornton was declared “out” and was subsequently inactive for last weekend’s Wildcard win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Apparently, he’s too banged up to give it a go in the foreseeable future, and the Colts would rather use his now vacant roster spot elsewhere.
That roster spot is now Michael Hill’s. Hill was previously on the Colts practice squad this past November. The 5’10”, 210 pound, running back has 9 career carries for 23 rushing yards, having also spent time with San Diego, Green Bay, and Washington in his brief 2-year NFL career. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri Western State by the Chargers in 2013, Hill will now look to leave a lasting impression with the Colts.
For Thornton, it marks the end to what has been a somewhat disappointing 2nd season in the NFL. While at times he has shown flashes of becoming a starting caliber offensive guard, his play has been marred by both inconsistency and injury. According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), Thornton wasn’t very effective this season as he had a -6.7 grade overall in his 12 starts this season. Fortunately for the team, starting rookie left guard Jack Mewhort has been as good as initially advertised and helped to pick up some of the slack.
Aug 22, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Michael Hill (22) is tackled by Oakland Raiders defensive end Shelby Harris (75) and linebacker Miles Burris (56) at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Raiders 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports