INDIANAPOLIS – For a third straight year, Hugh Thornton's season ended on injured reserve.
This time though, it never even got started.
Ankle injuries were once again the cause of Thornton going on IR. Following the end of the 2016 preseason, the Colts placed Thornton on injured reserve.
Thornton was expected to compete with Denzelle Good for the starting right guard spot as he entered a contract year.
The Colts were hoping for a more consistent Thornton in 2016, but the ankle injury never allowed him to display how a slimmed down body would change his level of play.
After being taken in the third round of the 2013 Draft, Thornton battled knee and shoulder injuries in his second season. He made just eight starts in 2014 (after starting 12 times as a rookie) and went on IR early in the playoffs.
In 2015, Thornton went on IR in late December, following 12 starts.
Week 16 of the 2015 season is the last time Thornton has put on a Colts uniform in a regular season game.
With spending so many resources (4 of 8 draft picks) on the offensive line last year, the trench play on offense does not appear to be a major emphasis going into 2017.
Thornton is the only Colts' offensive lineman entering free agency.
Looking ahead to 2017, the Colts have returning starters at guard in Jack Mewhort and Joe Haeg. Reserves Austin Blythe, Denzelle Good and Jonotthan Harrison all saw starting time at guard this past season.
Thornton has 32 career starts (37 games) in his four NFL seasons.
2017 Free Agent Watch
-Outside Linebacker Trent Cole: Cole Watch
-Tight End Jack Doyle: Doyle Watch
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