INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts began on-field preparations on Wednesday for Sunday's huge Week 17 win-or-go-home matchup against the Tennessee with their starting MIKE linebacker back on the practice field.
A few other key pieces, both offensively and defensively, are still waiting for their clearance to return, however.
Anthony Walker was back out at practice on Wednesday, but was wearing a red, no-contact jersey as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.
Those who did not participate in the day's practice session, however, included wide receivers T.Y. Hilton (ankle) and Dontrelle Inman (shoulder), safety Clayton Geathers (knee), cornerback Quincy Wilson (calf), tight end Ryan Hewitt (foot), linebacker Matthew Adams (groin), center Ryan Kelly (neck) and tight end Eric Ebron (concussion/knee).
» Walker did not practice all last week with a shoulder injury, and was inactive for last Sunday's victory over the New York Giants. The team's starter at the MIKE linebacker position, Walker has blossomed in his second NFL season in 2018; in 14 games with 13 starts, he's second on the team in tackles (102), and also has 10 tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, one sack, one interception, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
» Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters prior to Wednesday's session that he did not anticipate Kelly or Geathers practicing on Wednesday, meanwhile.
Kelly suffered a neck injury during the Giants game and did not return; "We're going to see how that progresses throughout the week," Reich said of Kelly today.
Geathers was also inactive for the Giants game with a knee injury, his first missed game in seven weeks after being out Weeks 6 and 7 with a concussion and a neck issue.
» Ebron exited last Sunday's game with the Giants late in the first half and was placed in the league's concussion protocol. The fact he missed Wednesday's practice isn't much of a surprise considering he's missed three of the last four Wednesdays with various issues (quad, back and illness), so his status on Thursday and Friday is what's really important.
» Despite practicing just once over the past two weeks, Hilton has been able to overcome a painful ankle injury to play in wins over the Dallas Cowboys and the Giants. Hilton told reporters today he considers Sunday's game against the Titans a "Game 7" in terms of its importance; "You know I ain't missing it," he added.
Here's Wednesday's full practice report:
» DNP: LB Matthew Adams (groin); TE Eric Ebron (concussion/knee); S Clayton Geathers (knee); TE Ryan Hewitt (foot); WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle); WR Dontrelle Inman (shoulder); C Ryan Kelly (neck); CB Quincy Wilson (calf)
» Limited: WR Daurice Fountain (ankle); S Malik Hooker (hip); WR Zach Pascal (knee); DE Jabaal Sheard (teeth); LB Anthony Walker (shoulder)
» Full: None