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Thomas' injury a big concern for Colts

His first reaction was to pound the turf. After being helped to his feet, Donald Thomas tossed his helmet in anger. Soon thereafter, he limped off the field favoring his right leg, pulling off his jersey and pads as he passed through the exit gates.

When he will pass back through, heading the other direction, is a matter of major concern for the Colts.

Reports already are swirling that Thomas re-injured the right quadriceps muscle that cost him 14 games and major surgery last season. Thomas ruptured the quad early in the Colts’ second game of the season against Miami when he collided with teammate Samson Satele.

The Colts had no medical update on Thomas’ status after practice other than to report he would undergo an MRI, so official word won’t come until Coach Chuck Pagano next addresses the media after the morning walk-through on Thursday at Anderson University.

“I really don’t have any information to give you,” Pagano told WTHR’s Dave Calabro. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed on the Donald Thomas front.”

They’re doing more than that. After practice, the remaining offensive linemen dropped to their knees in a prayer circle.

Should Thomas be lost for an extended period of time, it would be a major blow to the interior offensive line. The veteran was signed to a four-year, $14 million contract prior to last season to serve as an anchor inside, and his ability to play all three positions offered the Colts comforting versatility.

His likely replacement would come from a group that includes second-round pick Jack Mewhort, undrafted rookie Jonotthan Harrison and veterans Lance Louis and Joe Reitz.

Should Mewhort join center Khaled Holmes and right guard Hugh Thornton in the lineup, the Colts would be leaning on a rookie and two second-year players.

The Colts already have sustained one major injury in camp, losing running back Vick Ballard for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. They had another scare in practice Wednesday when T.Y. Hilton injured his left hand jostling with Greg Toler for a deep pass in the end zone that fell incomplete, but the team said he had a jammed finger.

The only good medical news was the return of Trent Richardson, who had missed most of practice nursing a sore hamstring. Dwayne Allen was held out of practice as a precautionary measure, while both LaRon Landry and Vontae Davis continued to work on the side.

“We need them to get out there, they need to get out there,” Pagano said after the walk-through Wednesday morning. “They need to start practicing. They’re doing a great job with the rehab, the trainers are pushing them. They’re very, very close. Again, they need to start playing football. They need to get their helmets on, their shoulder pads on, and the full pads on, thigh pads, knee pads. And they need to get in the huddle. They need to start communicating with their teammates and like I said, playing football.

“So as soon as we can get them back, we’re going to make the right decision when that is and certainly they have to start playing.”

HOT READS

>> Pagano offered a glowing tribute to Craig Kelley, the longtime club publicist who ends his 29-year career with the Colts this week. Pagano called Kelley “one of the most selfless people that I’ve been around” and characterized him as “the epitome of a horseshoe guy.”

>>  The camp schedule ramps up with a night practice including a scrimmage Thursday night, one week in advance of the preseason opener next week on the road against the New York Jets. “With training camp being a grind, change of pace is good,” Pagano said. “Changing up, playing under the lights, being in the stadium, being in front of the fans, cheerleaders are going be there, all that stuff, it’s a shot of adrenaline, if you will. You get out of that mundane-ness of the daily grind: meetings, walkthrough, lunch, three-hour break, 1:50 practice, then we eat. So a little extra excitement level there for the guys.”

>> The Colts’ walk-through Thursday morning, closed to the public, will be at the regular time. The night practice is scheduled to begin at 6:20 p.m.

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