Colts need Jack Mewhort healthy

INDIANAPOLIS -- The severity of Indianapolis Colts rookie guard Jack Mewhort's knee situation is unknown. But it's understandable if you have some uneasiness, especially when you take into account Mewhort played less than a half in the preseason opener, was pulled early from practice a couple days later and didn't practice at all in the final three days of training camp.

Coach Chuck Pagano said he held Mewhort out of practice Wednesday. If that's the case you have to assume the rookie out of Ohio State will play against the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But if Mewhort doesn't play Saturday -- or if it turns out his knee situation is pretty serious -- undrafted rookie and Mewhort's teammate at Ohio State, Marcus Hall, is listed as his backup at left guard. The Colts re-signed Hall on Aug. 8.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts put veteran Lance Louis at left guard if Mewhort can't play. Louis is a former starter in the NFL and the Colts can't continue to keep getting younger and younger on the interior part of the offensive line with each injury. There's a substantial difference going from a second-round pick -- Mewhort --to an undrafted player in Hall. They've currently done that at center, as undrafted rookie Jonotthan Harrison is starting in place of Khaled Holmes (ankle).

Louis has started 28 of the 41 games he's appeared in during his career. He tore his ACL while with the Chicago Bears late in the 2012 season, which caused him to miss all of last season. Louis was working with the first team until Mewhort passed him during minicamp in June.

Louis is capable of stepping in, but the Colts need Mewhort to get as many snaps as possible in the preseason because the plan is for him to be their long-term starter at guard.