When the Colts play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they’ll be without their starting rookie left guard Jack Mewhort. However, somebody must’ve not told this year’s 2nd round pick from Ohio State he’s a rookie, because he certainly hasn’t played like it.
4 games, and 4 starts later, and Mewhort has been a rookie that was been hardened by the fires of NFL experience. Of course, it wasn’t supposed to be this way, at least not initially.
The Colts lost their assumed starting left guard, 7-year veteran Donald Thomas, to a torn quad in July of training camp. Since that time, it’s been Mewhort’s job to lose. However, instead of losing his grip, Mewhort’s been tightening his hold on the position for both the now, and the long-term.
It’s unfortunate that his injury comes at a time with the Colts set to play a stingy Ravens’ defense that ranks 7th in fewest rush yards (82.5 ypg) and 13th overall in total ypg (342.8). Does any team get to plan for an appropriate time for an injury though?
Still, Mewhort hasn’t just been good. He’s been really, really good, like seasoned Pro-Bowl veteran good. The advanced statistics provided by ProFootballFocus (PFF) rank him as the 4th best starting left guard in all of football. His +2.0 in pass blocking places him as the 6th best guard overall in that facet.
The good news is that his replacement, 5-year veteran guard Lance Louis, filled-in admirably for then injured Colts’ right guard Hugh Thornton last weekend versus Tennessee. His PFF grade of +0.5 would rank him 31st among all qualifying offensive guards. Not great, but certainly not bad for a back-up looking to make a spot-start.
The Ravens are known for always playing a physical brand of football, and fortunately for the Colts, Louis looks to be a fairly phyiscal player himself. While they’d rather have Louis on the bench then starting in this one, the offensive line should fare just fine with Louis filling-in. That is, assuming he plays like he did last weekend.