INDIANAPOLIS — Midway through last season Quincy Wilson went through a bit of a position change.
No longer just a cornerback, Wilson now sees himself as more of a defensive back.
After adding in reps in more of a linebacker/safety role in the Indianapolis Colts’ nickel and dime packages, the third-year Florida product says he’s enjoyed adding to his plate for the Indy defense.
And now, with both of the Colts’ starting safeties battling respective injuries, there’s a chance Wilson could see more time lined up deep in the secondary, starting on Sunday against defending league Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m a football player, you know what I’m saying?” Wilson told reporters on Wednesday. “Like, they threw me at nickel; I can play it. They throw me at dime; I can play it. So I don’t think it’ll be an issue or anything; it’s just adding more to what I can do.”
Wilson was the Colts’ second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Florida, where he played exclusively at cornerback. But about midway through last season, Wilson was asked to add some linebacker/safety-type duties to take advantage of both his coverage skills and his 6-foot-2, 193-pound frame.
Wilson, according to Pro Football Focus, played seven defensive snaps lined up in the box in the Colts’ Week 7 matchup last year against the Buffalo Bills; he’d average three snaps in that spot over Indy’s next 12 games, including its two playoff matchups.
That theme has continued this year; Wilson played 10 snaps in the box Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, one snap in the box Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans and six snaps in the box Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Now, with Malik Hooker week-to-week with a knee injury and with Clayton Geathers in the league’s concussion protocol, the team will explore adding Wilson to its depth alongside Khari Willis, George Odum and Rolan Milligan at safety.
“It’s the old mantra – next man up. We just got to figure out who’s the fourth,” Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said of the safety position. “We’re going to look at Quincy there to see where he is in terms of that. He’s played multiple spots for us. He’s played in the dime package over certain guys and played in our pressure packages at times. … He’s certainly an option.”
A quad injury prevented Colts’ top receiver T.Y. Hilton from taking the field last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, a game Indy would drop, 31-24.
So where’s Hilton at now? He didn’t practice on Wednesday, but told reporters today he’s “feeling good.”
“I’m feeling real good,” he continued. “Did some things yesterday and the day before, so I’m feeling good.”
But does he think he’ll play this Sunday night against the Chiefs?
“It’s up to the coaches,” said Hilton, whose four receiving touchdowns is tied for the league lead.
Among those that were able to return to practice on Wednesday, however, was linebacker Darius Leonard, who remains in the league’s concussion protocol.
Leonard started feeling symptoms after the Colts’ Week 2 victory over the Titans, which has led to him missing the last two games against the Falcons and Raiders.
Leonard was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, and he still has boxes to check before he can be cleared for this Sunday’s game in Kansas City.
“I do think Darius has made a lot of progress,” head coach Frank Reich said today. “With all the information that we have, the players first and foremost their safety is our primary concern and we’ll follow the protocol and follow what’s best for them.”
Here’s the full injury report from Wednesday’s practice:
» DNP: WR Parris Campbell (abdominal); S Clayton Geathers (concussion); WR T.Y. Hilton (quad); S Malik Hooker (knee); DT/DE Tyquan Lewis (ankle); RB Marlon Mack (ankle)
» Limited: LB Darius Leonard (concussion)
» Full: N/A