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Colts 2015 Player Preview: Offensive Lineman Lance Louis

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on August 1 with a 90-man roster, and we'll be taking a look at every single player on the roster (though it obviously will change some) as we approach camp. Today, we look at offensive lineman Lance Louis.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lance Louis wasn't supposed to be starting along the offensive line for the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, but injuries pushed him into the lineup, and he ended up playing in 12 of the team's 19 games (including playoffs) and starting ten of them, proving to be a valuable backup for the team.

Louis was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft and spent the first four years of his career in Chicago.  Louis played in 41 games with the Bears and started 28 of them, but just when it seemed as if he was getting things going, he tore his ACL during the 2012 season and was placed on injured reserve.  The Bears didn't bring him back the following season and he signed with the Miami Dolphins, but he was waived before the season began as he still worked to get healthy after his injury.  The Colts signed him to a reserve/futures contract early in 2014 and he worked with the team in the offseason, impressing the team and giving him some momentum going into training camp.  In camp and preseason he impressed enough to earn a spot on the roster as a depth player.  His first start on the year came in week four at right guard in place of Hugh Thornton, and then the following week he started at left guard in place of Jack Mewhort.  He was back starting at right guard the next week, and then three weeks after that he started at right guard again.  When week 15 rolled around, Louis again started at right guard and he started there for the final three games of the regular season and the three playoff games - keeping the job despite the fact that Hugh Thornton had returned from injury.

Early on in the season Louis struggled, but later in the year he improved and was a part of the offensive line that started throughout the playoffs, was consistent, and did a solid job.  Entering 2015, Louis might still have a chance at earning a starting spot in training camp, though its unlikely.  According to ESPN's Mike Wells, Louis and Thornton are the leading candidates to start at left guard if Jack Mewhort is moved to right tackle (if Gosder Cherilus isn't healthy), and while they both got time there during the media portion of OTAs, Wells noted that Louis got more first team reps.  My guess would be that Thornton would win that job, but Louis might stand a real chance.  Either way, it seems like he would have a pretty good chance at making the 53-man roster in some role, whether as a starter or as a backup.  There are several intriguing backup linemen for the Colts - such as Joe Reitz, Ben Heenan, whoever loses the center battle, Louis and/or Thornton, Donald Thomas, and others - but considering Louis' work and experience last year, plus the work he was getting in OTAs, it would seem like he has a good chance at making the roster in some role in 2015.