Mewhort will get a shot to start at guard

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Adversity is something the Indianapolis Colts are used to. Go back to the 2013 season if you need further proof. Five offensive starters lost before Week 7.

Losing left guard Donald Thomas (quad) obviously is not ideal, and you could tell by the way coach Chuck Pagnao was talking, he also stuck to the franchise’s customary “Next Man Up” line when asked about who will replace Thomas at that position.

Meet second-round pick Jack Mewhort.

Mewhort was already getting snaps at left guard with Thomas during practice. Now the rookie out of Ohio State will get the first crack at keeping that starting spot.

“My perspective has not changed,” Mewhort said. “Coming into this camp, my mindset was to compete, and that’s what I’ve been doing and what I intend to do during my whole career in the NFL. Obviously it was unfortunate what happened to Donald. It’s tough to lose him. My mindset hasn’t changed.”

Lance Louis will also compete for snaps, but it’s Mewhort’s job to lose.

Mewhort is about to join a young, inexperienced interior part of the Colts offensive line. Center Khaled Holmes is basically a rookie after playing 12 snaps last season and right guard Hugh Thornton is in his second season after playing 828 snaps as a rookie.

Pagano admitted that starting a rookie makes him nervous.

“Besides his toughness, position flexibility,” Pagano said when asked what he likes about Mewhort, "he doesn’t flinch when we move him around. ... The guy is unflappable. He’s a tough guy and nothing seems to bother Jack."

Mewhort is also one of the Colts' backup centers if Holmes struggles. Mewhort said the speed of the game has been the toughest transition for him in the NFL.

“Everything is so much faster,” he said. “With a quarterback like Andrew (Luck) out there, everything moves so much faster. You always have to your mind ready to go and ready to adjust. I think that’s one big adjustment.”