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Colts Anticipate Malik Hooker, Denzelle Good Will Make 2018 Debuts On Saturday

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have slowly seen the return of a couple key players over the past couple weeks, and that trend could continue within the next few days.

Head coach Frank Reich said the team anticipates safety Malik Hooker and tackle/guard Denzelle Good will make their 2018 debuts on Saturday, when the Colts take on the San Francisco 49ers in their preseason Week 3 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Hooker’s return will be an event more than 10 months in the making since he tore his ACL while attempting to make a tackle along the sideline in the Colts’ Week 7 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars last October.

Hooker, who underwent surgery, missed the entire offseason workout program and was placed on the Colts’ Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to begin training camp. He was placed back on the active roster on Aug. 2, and has slowly worked his way back into the mix with the first-team defense at free safety.

Reich said he’s expecting Hooker — who had three interceptions at the time of his knee injury last season — to play on Saturday “as long as there’s no setbacks” this week.

“But right now, he had a good solid week last week, and so we’ll anticipate that he’ll be on a snap count — but it’s preseason, so he’ll be on a snap count, anyway — but we would look to get him in there this week,” Reich said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters.

Good, meanwhile, suffered a hamstring injury during a 1-on-1 drill on Aug. 1 and has not practiced since.

At the time of his injury, Good was one of a couple primary candidates in the mix to win the starting right tackle job, while he was also being counted on to fill in at left tackle in Anthony Castonzo’s absence.

The Colts have since rotated a few players in at right tackle, but it seems as though Good will get a chance to re-enter the conversation beginning this week.

“I think Denzelle’s really close,” Reich said. “And I would hope that we could see him in action this week against San Francisco. I really think that’s the goal, to get him in there this week.

“As far as right tackle, we still have another week to go; and, really, we’ll probably take both weeks for solid evaluation and narrow this thing down. No one has just jumped out to the forefront; a couple guys have been playing decent, and so we’ll take these last two weeks to figure it out.”

Castonzo, Walker, Bond update

Reich also had updates on a few other players whose injury statuses are little bit more in the air.

Castonzo has not been able to return since re-aggravating a hamstring injury in practice on Aug. 3. Reich said he’s “encouraged with Castonzo’s progress,” but isn’t yet ready to declare a potential return date.

“I don’t want to say we’re getting close, but I think it’s fair to say we’re making good progress,” Reich said. “So I’m confident, and would really hope to get him some practice time here before we get into Week 1.”

In the same boat is linebacker Anthony Walker, who missed most of training camp with a groin injury. At the time he went down, the second-year Northwestern product was getting most of the reps with the first-team defense at MIKE linebacker.

“Anthony is starting to feel better.,” Reich said. “And I wouldn’t say we’re close, but again, almost like Castonzo, I feel good about the progress.”

Finally, second-year center Deyshawn Bond continues to work his way through the league’s concussion protocol.

Reich said believes “that should get cleared up here pretty soon.”

The Colts have utilized non-centers like Mark Glowinski, Tyreek Burwell and Le’Raven Clark to try to help make up for Bond’s absence in recent weeks.

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