Over the past two seasons, there are few players in the NFL who have had worse luck when it comes to injuries than Colts offensive lineman Donald Thomas. In 2013 the Colts signed him as a free agent to be their starting guard, but in week two he tore his quad and missed the rest of the season. Then last year, he was again projected to be the Colts' starting guard but re-tore his quad in training camp, missing the entire 2014 season. This season, the expectations are gone, but the hope remains that Thomas could contribute for the Colts if he stays healthy.
Thomas (6-4, 303 pounds) was originally drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Connecticut. He spent just over two seasons with Miami, playing in 17 games and starting 12, before he was waived right before the start of the 2010 season. The Lions signed him midway through the 2010 season but he didn't play in a game for them and he was released before the start of the 2011 season. The Patriots then signed him early in the 2011 season and then released him two months later, only to re-sign him two days later. Thomas played in 26 games with the Patriots in 2011 and 2012, starting eight games. He proved to be a good lineman in New England and valuable for them, leading to the Colts signing him in free agency before the 2013 season to be their starting right guard. He started the first two games, but early in the second one he tore his quad. He worked hard to come back, but early in training camp in 2014, he re-tore that quad. Two seasons, two injuries. He has been rehabbing this offseason and working out with the team, hoping to factor into the team's plans this year.
We really don't know what to expect from Donald Thomas. Before his injuries, he was a pretty good offensive lineman who really could have helped the Colts. But will he be effective now coming back from two season-ending injuries? Can he stay healthy? Those are two questions that fans can hope about but that we really don't know about yet. If he can stay healthy and if he does play well, however, there certainly will be a roster spot for Thomas. He may not be a starter, but he could certainly help them out as a depth player and could possibly even push for a starting guard spot, depending on how the rest of the line shakes out. Hopefully, he comes back healthy, stays healthy, and is productive - but we'll just have to wait and see in training camp and preseason before we can say for sure.