The Indianapolis Colts have questions along the offensive line heading into training camp. Guard High Thornton hopes he can be one of the answers and after an injury-plagued 2014 season.
Thornton, the Colts’ third-round pick in 2013, played in just 10 games last season because of ankle, knee and shoulder injuries. He spent the team’s recently compleed offseason program rotating as the starting left guard with veteran Lance Louis. In addition to Thornton and Louis, Ben Hennan and Joe Reitz are also in the mix at guard for the Colts. Veteran Todd Herremans has been playing right guard though OTAs and minicamp.
“Every year is huge,” Thornton said, via ESPN’s Mike Wells. “I’ve got to earn a spot on this roster. Ultimately I want to earn a spot playing. I’m a team guy. Whatever they need me to play, want me to play, I’ll play it to the best of my ability. Obviously injures are a huge part of the game. We’ve got some depth at offensive line now where we have a bunch of starters battling for one spot.”
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The competition figures to intensify when right tackle Gosder Cherilus returns from injury. Jack Mewhort, who played guard last season, has been manning the tackle spot in Cherilus’s absence and will likely return to playing guard. Thornton has started 20 games through his first two seasons in the NFL, but injuries and an inability to play consistently have prevented him from firmly establishing himself as a starter.
“It’s frustrating,” Thornton said. “My goal last year, and anybody’s goal, is to play consistent, but when you’re physically unable it hinders your consistency on a week-to-week basis. The biggest thing is to stay healthy and focus on the fundamentals and do my job to the best of my abilities.”