Last night was a great night for the Colts, as they got back on track with a 40-24 win over the New York Giants. One big question that emerged from the game, however, was why Lance Louis started over Hugh Thornton at right guard. Louis played every single offensive snap, which was very strange considering the fact that Thornton was healthy. The second year guard has started six games this year, and prior the only two games he hadn't started were games he missed due to injury. He was a 14-game starter a year ago.
While Thornton hasn't been great this year, Louis was even worse last night, and it left many wondering why the Colts benched their right guard in a move that caught all of us by surprise. Thornton wasn't injured so it was a benching - but why? "It's an internal move and something that we wouldn't speak about outside our facility," head coach Chuck Pagano said last night after the game. Would Thornton get his starting spot back? "Time will tell," Pagano replied.
Today, the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder has more information on the benching, and he cites a league source saying that the move was a disciplinary action for tardiness. Per Holder:
So, what got Thornton benched?
According to a league source, it was tardiness to meetings and/or a walkthrough. Thornton was benched Monday night, but he's expected to return to the lineup against the New England Patriots following this weekend's bye.
A disciplinary move was expected, and per Holder that's indeed what it was - a result of tardiness. There are many that will say there need to be exceptions made when it comes to your quarterback's health, and I understand that line of thinking. But all teams have rules, and all teams have consequences for not following those rules. We don't know the exact situation with Thornton, nor do we know what the team policy is regarding that situation. So I'm giving Chuck Pagano the benefit of the doubt here, and I'll applaud him for following through on team discipline. Sure it hurts the team, but what discipline would it be if it didn't? And if you make exceptions for anybody, then you slowly begin to lose the locker room. As many in Indiana should surely be aware by now, team discipline is huge. We all know that Chuck Pagano is very well-liked and respected in the locker room, and I give him props for sticking to his policy. Hopefully, this will show the rest of the team that their coach is serious about the rules. Again, we don't know exactly what happened or what the rules are, so I'm giving Pagano the benefit of the doubt.
Lance Louis played very poorly last night, and thankfully it sounds like Hugh Thornton will return to the starting lineup after the team's by week to face the Patriots in the biggest regular season game of the year for the Colts.