In a bit of a surprise move, former Colts guard Hugh Thornton announced his retirement from the NFL today.
Thornton had signed this offseason with the Atlanta Falcons, but today decided to retire.
So Thornton’s NFL career will end with the Colts remaining the only team he’ll have played in a game with. He was drafted by Indianapolis in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Illinois, and during his time with the Colts he played in 37 games and started 32 of them. He had some solid moments, but he was plagued by inconsistency and injuries. He started 12 games as a rookie, eight games in 2014, and 12 games in 2015, but he wound up on injured reserve at some point in each of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons. In 2016, he missed the entire season due to injury.
All indications were that Thornton was hoping to continue his NFL career and that led to him signing with the Falcons, where he figured to not just seriously compete for the 53-man roster but also seriously compete for the starting right guard spot. But that won’t happen, and it’s fair to wonder whether the numerous injuries over the years contributed to this decision. When a guy can’t stay healthy it probably gets discouraging and difficult and so there’s probably a point at which a player decides it’s not worth it anymore to keep fighting back from those injury issues. Whether or not that’s what happened with Thornton is unclear, but it’s something to consider.
Either way, Thornton had opted to walk away after four seasons with the Colts that were largely filled with disappointment. We wish him the best in this next step of his life.