Colts head coach Chuck Pagano confirmed the news this morning: Donald Thomas' MRI did indeed show that he re-tore his quad and will require season-ending surgery. "We feel awful for Donald," Pagano said while saying that the Colts would place Thomas on injured reserve.
Shortly after the press conference ended, the Colts made that move official, placing Thomas on IR and signing offensive tackle Eric Pike, who was with the team briefly earlier this year.
Pike was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent earlier this year and was with the team for two days before being waived. He started four years at Towson (49 career games) and was a captain his senior year. During that senior season, Pike was an FCS All-American as Towson compiled a 10-2 record and reached the FCS National Championship Game.
Obviously, the signing of Pike doesn't make up for the loss of Donald Thomas. Thomas was going to be a starter at left guard while Pike has a long climb to even make the team. But at the same time, no one who the Colts could have signed would have been able to truly make up for the loss of Thomas. Now, Jack Mewhort is in line to start at left guard, though Lance Louis will get a chance to try to take the job. Really, though, I'd be very surprised if Mewhort isn't starting at left guard for the Colts week one when the Colts go to Denver. Suddenly, all eyes are on the rookie, and we'll have increased coverage of him in camp and preseason now with the pressure placed on him with the Thomas injury.
[NOTE: A few days ago, I wrote about how the Colts are waiting to place running back Vick Ballard on IR because in order to do so he'd first have to clear waivers, which isn't a given. Thus, the Colts are waiting until they can place him on IR directly. So how can they place Thomas on IR right now? Simply put, he's a "vested veteran" who wouldn't have to go through waivers.]