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Sports Hilton returns to Colts practice, could play against Texans

02:17  14 october  2021
02:17  14 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Before Hilton can officially return , the Colts will designate him to return from the injured reserve list. This kicks off a 21-day window in which Hilton can practice while staying on the reserve list. The Colts must activate him before that 21-day window expires. In Hilton ’s absence, Michael Pittman Jr. has led the way in every category except for touchdowns. Pittman Jr. leads the team in targets (36), receptions (23), receiving yards (279) while leading the wide receiver room in snaps played (252). Reich has been pleased with what he’s gotten out of the wide receiver room in Hilton ’s absence.

The Indianapolis Colts saw their top wide receiver, T.Y. Hilton , make his return to the practice field Wednesday after missing two games with chest/hamstring injuries. What all did we learn on the day? A four-time Pro Bowler, Hilton initially suffered a chest injury early in the Week 4 matchup against the Houston Texans , but was able to return . A hamstring injury suffered later in the game would keep him out the next two weeks against the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, however.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton was back on the practice field for Wednesday's light workout.

  Hilton returns to Colts practice, could play against Texans © Provided by The Canadian Press

If all goes well over the next few days, he might be playing Sunday against one of his favorite teams — Houston.

The four-time Pro Bowler has been designated for return from injured reserve after having neck surgery in August and coach Frank Reich is optimistic Hilton will be cleared to play this weekend.

"We'll evaluate it as we go, but I've watched him work out over the last few days and I know he's hitting some of his normal T.Y. speed, yardage type of things, “ Reich said. ”It's a big emotional boost for the team and it’s Houston week — probably not a coincidence."

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The Texans won the opening coin toss on Saturday, kicking off to the Colts to begin the game. Three catches and 63 yards later, Hilton had hauled in the most receiving yards on an opening drive in his entire career. The Colts really made it hurt when they closed out that drive with a six-yard "You know, we always think about trying to get T.Y. the ball early, when we can ," Reich said Monday night in his weekly appearance on " Colts Roundtable Live" on 1070 The Fan. "There's a lot of things that go into how the first plays get scripted, but certainly one of the thoughts every week is, 'Hey, how do we get it

Another factor surrounding Hilton 's potential return is the Colts ' bye week, which follows Sunday's game against the Chiefs. Head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday the team was weighing the pros and cons associated with Hilton playing Sunday vs. getting two more weeks of rest. After practicing against Mahomes every day the last couple years, Houston said it's been impressive to take a step back and try to implement a gameplan to stop him. "He's a special guy. He's one of a kind," Houston said. "He's Pat Mahomes, the throws he makes – he can make every throw, he can see everything

Hilton has been Indy's most reliable receiver since replacing Reggie Wayne as the team's top target in 2015, and nobody has been more efficient against the Texans than the former Florida International star.

He has 102 receptions for 1,803 yards and 11 touchdowns in 19 career matchups against Houston with eight 100-yard games, including one last season — his first in 22 games, including the playoffs.

The timing for Hilton's return couldn't be better, either, after Indy blew a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead in an emotional overtime loss at Baltimore. Indy has lost four of its first five games.

But Hilton's return already has energized the locker room as the Colts get a critical opportunity to turn around their season in their first home game since mid-September.

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T.Y. Hilton has been listed as questionable to play , but his status on the injury report indicated he would have been a full participant for normal practice . Hilton has a long history of feasting on the Houston Texans , and he had 284 yards in his last two trips to Houston. The Colts are a dramatically different offense with Hilton on the field The return of Pierre Desir would be a huge one, because the defense has played really well in his absence, but he is the Colts best outside cornerback and being able to use him to minimize the impact of DeAndre Hopkins could be a major factor in the game.

I think that you can safely play someone else for TY this week unless you really don't have any other options. He has an estimated floor of 4 catches for 50ish yards IMO and no history of scoring. Emmanuel Sanders. The Colts D, but especially their secondary, are utter garbage due to injuries. Even Simmean could pick them apart if he has time to throw. Also a plus, DT may be a decoy or not even play .

“T.Y.'s a dog," 2020 All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said. “His presence, his leadership is always great to have in the locker room and after the surgery he had, it’s exciting to get the Ghost back on the field."

Hilton was injured when he landed awkwardly after taking a hard hit in the team's final training camp practice. Less than a week later, Colts general manager Chris Ballard announced Hilton had surgery on a disc to relieve pain Hilton.

The 31-year-old, who is the fourth-leading receiver in franchise history, started the season on injured reserve but was expected to return this season. He's getting closer by the day.

“It’s exciting for me, I think it’s exciting for the whole team," quarterback Carson Wentz said. “Everybody knows what kind of a player T.Y. is on the field, but he’s more so in the locker room as a leader. I think seeing him in the walkthrough today, everybody got a little excited."

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The Indianapolis Colts got some encouraging news at Thursday’s practice as wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was spotted participating as the team prepares for the primetime matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hilton , who re-aggravated his quad injury in Week 3 and then missed Week 4, didn’t practice on Wednesday, but it appears the 29-year-old logged at least a limited practice Thursday—which is encouraging for his Sunday night status. Colts C Ryan Kelly could return to practice this week.

The Indianapolis Colts offense had appeared to be moving on without the speedster, as Philip Rivers could never find the connection with Hilton like QBs of the past. In nine games played through Week 11, Hilton averaged a measly 36.3 yards per game on 3.2 catches per tilt. He had just one game with more than five catches, never reached the 70-yard mark "I'm still dominant," Hilton said recently. "I can still dominate any team, any game, no matter where we're at." The veteran WR gets another prime spot to dominate this week against a Houston Texans squad he's tortured throughout his career.

Hilton is only one part of a long list of injury concerns heading into this weekend.

Reich said an MRI on the hip of injured kicker Rodrigo Blankenship revealed “a little something there” and that a decision on his status for Sunday will be determined later this week. The second-year player from Georgia missed an extra point and two late field goals Monday, including a 47-yarder as time expired in regulation.

So the Colts brought in multiple kickers for workouts Wednesday including, reportedly, Michael Badgley, who competed against Adam Vinatieri at Indy's training camp in 2018.

“I think we’ll make a decision pretty soon. We want to get all the information before we pull the trigger," Reich said, referring to Blankenship. “I think whatever it is, it's something that's going to be short term, hopefully."

Reich didn't have many more answers about Indy's depleted secondary.

Starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes and backup safety Andrew Sendejo are both in the concussion protocol, and Indy's other starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin has missed two straight games with an injured ankle.

“We’re going to see how it goes this week," Reich said when asked about Ya-Sin. “Last week, I would have thought for sure this week. It’s not a setback, it's just not going as fast as we wanted it to go."

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Michael Marot, The Associated Press

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This is interesting!