Thomas still working back from injuries

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The issues with the interior part of the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line have been obvious since before the middle of last season.

The Colts, they think, have addressed their center problems by releasing Samson Satele earlier this month and signing Phil Costa to compete with Khaled Holmes to be the starter.

Hugh Thornton will have a chance to hold down one of the guard positions. The other position will likely be taken by Donald Thomas next season.

Thomas only gave you a brief tease of what he can do in a Colts uniform because he didn’t make it through the second week of the season. Thomas’ first season with the Colts ended when he tore a tendon in his quad in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said Tuesday that Thomas also tore his biceps in the same game.

"In that same series," Grigson said. "And he played through a torn biceps. But you're not going to play through a torn quad."

Grigson referred to Thomas as being “on the right track” with working his way back from both of those injuries.

“With a guy like Donald, in a strange way, this is almost good for him,” Grigson said. “He’s one of those guys I really identify with. He’s always had a chip on his shoulder. ... He was really playing well and he really helped our interior. Now he’s getting that quad strength.

“He’s squatting. I told him I really felt like this offseason his lower body strength and through his hips, he’s stronger than 9 acres of garlic up top. The guy is so strong with his upper body. He just has to really get that lower body with the quad injury as strong as possible so he’s a complete player in our interior.”

The key with the Colts’ line is consistency. It showed some flashes at times last season, but flashes don't get the job done. The Colts need to protect quarterback Andrew Luck and open up lanes for the running backs every play, not every few plays.

Thomas will bring some stability to the interior part of the offensive line. That’s what the Colts hope at least.

“A guy with experience, we only had a short glimpse [last season],” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s busting his rear rehabbing trying to get well with the quad and bicep. He’s doing great, he’s on track to be back for training camp. It’ll be great to have him back.”