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Jack Mewhort Starts at Center Tonight for the Colts

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In an interesting move, rookie left guard Jack Mewhort started at center for the Colts tonight vs. the Bengals.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There's not much to see from the fourth preseason game tonight between the Colts and the Bengals.  Seriously - not a lot.  It looks like only two Colts starters are playing tonight - safety Mike Adams and then offensive lineman Jack Mewhort.

It makes sense that both are playing, as Adams is still in a battle for the starting safety spot (though clearly the favorite) and then Mewhort the rookie who is going to be the starting left guard.  He could use extra work as well.

But interestingly enough, Jack Mewhort didn't start at left guard tonight but rather at center.  I'm of the opinion that with a rookie like Mewhort who will be starting at left guard, he should probably get as much playing time as possible at that position.  But tonight, he's played at center.

So what does this mean?  Well, maybe nothing.  We knew coming into the season that the Colts loved Mewhort's versatility and that he can play anywhere along the line.  The Colts were going to have him start by focusing at guard, but weren't going to limit his versatility either if needed.  But might this mean a little more?

Let's note that Jonotthan Harrison, the team's second team center turned starter, missed some practice this week with a thumb injury and doesn't appear to be playing tonight.  But the Colts do have Thomas Austin and FN Lutz at center still, so why put Mewhort at center tonight?

I think the simplest answer is that they want him to have some experience there so that if Khaled Holmes isn't ready to go week one they won't have to keep yet another center but could play Harrison and have Mewhort as a backup.  But I also wonder if perhaps it signifies some doubt about Holmes' status in week one against Denver.  Of course, this is all at risk of drawing too many conclusions from the fourth preseason game, but it's at least something to ponder.

Oh, and speaking of the offensive line, Joe Reitz (who started at left tackle tonight) went down with a left ankle injury.  He walked off the field gingerly but was then carted to the locker room later.  That's obviously not good - he's a very valuable depth player who is a backup both at guard and at tackle.  The official word is that it's an ankle injury and that he's questionable to return, but I doubt we'll see him again tonight.

Oh, and because of that injury, Tyler Hoover is playing at left tackle as I write this. Why is that significant?  Well, because he's a defensive lineman.  But don't be too confused - he did play some offensive line in training camp, but it goes to show you the state of the depth along this offensive line (especially without their two best depth players in Joe Reitz and Xavier Nixon).