Colts’ shuffling O-line (again) heading to Pittsburgh

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2015) – The revolving door continues to spin with the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line.

Right guard Hugh Thornton has been ruled out of Sunday night’s test at Pittsburgh with an injury to his left elbow, resulting in the team turning to its second different starting combination in as many weeks and fifth overall this season.

Lance Louis, who started at left guard the first two games of the season, is expected to replace Thornton. The Colts already were without left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who sprained his right knee Nov. 22 at Atlanta.

The projected starting unit versus the Steelers: Joe Reitz at left tackle, Jack Mewhort at left guard, Jon Harrison at center, Louis at right guard and Denzelle Good at right tackle.

For perspective, consider that’s a totally different alignment from the season opener at Buffalo, and the only starters against the Bills were Mewhort at right tackle and Louis at left guard.

The Colts have grown accustomed to adjusting on the fly, especially along the offensive line. Including the playoffs, they used 11 different combinations a year ago.

“Again, (it’s) this time of year,’’ coach Chuck Pagano said. “It’s the National Football League and you’re going to deal with adversity, you’re going to deal with circumstances.

“You’ve just got to keep moving. Coaches have done a great job. Everybody prepares like a starter. Like I always say, they’re not canceling the game.’’

Further complicating matters along the offensive line is backup center Khaled Holmes being questionable for the Steelers game with an injury to his right ankle. That leaves Todd Herremans as the only healthy backup, and he’s been inactive in four of the last five games.

The Colts probably will add offensive line depth prior to Sunday. The most likely move is to elevate guard Ben Heenan from the practice squad to the active roster.

More medical matters: Along with Holmes, the Colts have ruled out quarterback Andrew Luck (kidney/abdomen), offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (knee), wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (ankle) and linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring).

Safety Mike Adams (ankle) and linebacker Erik Walden (heel) are probable. Adams has missed the last two games, and will be a welcome addition to a secondary that must deal with the Steelers’ No. 6-ranked passing attack

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