Hugh Thornton was ready for short-term duty, and that could very well turn into long-term action at left guard
For nearly the entire offseason, rookie Hugh Thornton worked at the right guard position.
But when left guard Donald Thomas went down midway through the first quarter on Sunday afternoon, it was time for a little muscle memory re-teaching for the Colts third-round draft pick.
Thornton entered at left guard and played the rest of the game there for the Colts.
“I’m ready,” Thornton said of his first thoughts when Thomas went down. “In every aspect of the game and every phase of the game, I was ready.
“There’s some things that I’ve got to go back and improve on technique and just get better so I can help the team win more games.”
Following the game, head coach Chuck Pagano said Thornton did an “admirable” job filling in for Thomas.
With Thomas tearing his quad and out for the rest of the season, Thornton is the likely starter moving forward.
When the Colts selected Thornton in the third round of April’s NFL Draft, Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson called the rookie a “mauler”.
An ankle injury sidelined Thornton for all of training camp but on Sunday he showed the run blocking prowess that was talked about back in April.
Whether it was as a pulling guard on running plays or paving the way for Ahmad Bradshaw’s one-yard touchdown run, Thornton looks ready for long-term duty at the left guard position.
“When that happen, you’ve got to pick up where that last guy left off,” Thornton said of the injury to Thomas. “I was ready to play any position the team needed me to play so I went out there and did the best that I could today, not the best that I can do.
“As a team, we can improve and as an o-line we can improve. So just look for us to improve, get better and win more games this year.”