The Indianapolis Colts will take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, and overall the injury report this week for the Colts isn't that bad. But the team did rule out offensive lineman Hugh Thornton (shoulder) out for the game on Sunday, and they've listed lineman A.Q. Shipley (ankle) as doubtful and running back Trent Richardson (illness) questionable, head coach Chuck Pagano said on Friday afternoon.
Thornton could technically be called the team's starting right guard, but that's not an entirely accurate assessment to make. He hasn't started there since week twelve, as he then missed four games in a row with an injury and, upon returning last week, didn't start. He did play, however, and injured his shoulder this time. Chuck Pagano said earlier in the week that Thornton would be "week-to-week," a sign that he likely wasn't going to play this week. Thornton played in just ten games this year, starting only eight of them, so it's not a huge loss for the team on Sunday - other than that they already have enough questions along the line.
Furthermore, offensive lineman A.Q. Shipley is listed as doubtful for the game. He started at left guard last week but injured his ankle. It initially looked bad, but he was described as "day-to-day" by Pagano earlier this week. Still, there's a good chance he'll miss this game. The officially practice report for Friday hasn't been released, but at least during the media portion of practice Shipley wasn't seen. If indeed he didn't practice today, he will have missed the entire week of work, and this year no Colt has missed an entire week of practice and played on Sunday. In the playoffs the team will put guys out there if they can, but still - it seems unlikely that the Colts will have Shipley.
Additionally, running back Trent Richardson is listed as questionable with an illness, Chuck Pagano said. Regardless of whether he plays or not, Richardson is not expected to have a significant role on Sunday, as the Colts have been phasing him out of the lineup in recent weeks.
It's been a rough injury week for the offensive line for the Colts, as on Wednesday starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus was placed on injured reserve, Hugh Thornton has been ruled out, and it seems likely that A.Q. Shipley will miss Sunday as well (as he's doubtful). The mess of an offensive line will continue as the Colts could very well be playing with their eleventh different starting offensive line combination of the season. My guess is that it will be Anthony Castonzo at left tackle (like normal), Jack Mewhort at left guard, Khaled Holmes at center, Lance Louis at right guard, and Joe Reitz at right tackle.