INDIANAPOLIS — T.Y. Hilton is back — on the practice field, that is.
The Indianapolis Colts’ top target, who has missed the last two games with chest/hamstring injuries, made his return to practice on Wednesday, and was labeled as a full participant.
“The guys need me,” HIlton said earlier in the day. “So I’m here for them.”
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.
Neither Hilton nor his head coach, Frank Reich, are saying the wide receiver will absolutely be suited up this Sunday, when the Colts play host to the Buffalo Bills, but his participation in Wednesday’s practice seems to be a positive step nonetheless.
“Yeah, but at the same time, I’ve gotta make sure I’m healthy,” Hilton said when asked if he felt pressure to get back out onto the field. “I don’t wanna go out there and hurt myself. So, for me, I’ll give it a test today. We’re in a must-win game, so I’ve gotta be out there.”
The Colts enter Sunday’s game against the Bills with a four-game losing streak, and a 1-5 record overall. Hilton — who rarely misses any games — said it’s been a “terrible” feeling watching the last couple games from home, knowing how much of an impact he could be making if healthy.
“Just watching it on TV not being there with them, you know, it hurts me. It hurts me a lot,” Hilton said. “In seven years I’ve only missed two (games), now it’s two more. So I just hate it. I hate watching. I know they need me, so I did everything I can to get back and I’ll test it out today and see what’s up.”
If Hilton is somehow able to return to the lineup by Sunday, he’ll be a major boost for a wide receiver position hit hard recently by the injury bug. Both Ryan Grant and Marcus Johnson suffered ankle injuries during last Sunday’s loss to the Jets; Johnson was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, while Grant did not practice on Wednesday.
The Colts on Tuesday did sign veteran wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, and the expectation, according to Nick Sirianni, is that he could play as soon as this Sunday against the Bills. The team also has three wide receivers — K.J. Brent, Reece Fountain and Steve Ishmael — on its practice squad.
“I’m good. I’m good. It’s all memorization. It’s all football at the end of the day. A lot of these offenses in this league are the same. It’s a copycat league, so all you have to do is put what you’ve learned with the new stuff that you get put in front of you.” — Colts wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, on the task ahead this week learning the team’s playbook with the expectation he plays Sunday against the Bills.
Here’s Wednesday’s full practice report:
» DNP: DT/DE Denico Autry (hamstring); TE Jack Doyle (hip); WR Ryan Grant (ankle); CB Arthur Maulet (hip); RB Robert Turbin (shoulder)
» Limited: TE Erik Swoope (knee)
» Full: S Clayton Geathers (concussion/neck); T/G Denzelle Good (not injury related); WR T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring); DT Margus Hunt (knee)
— Good news not only on the Hilton front, but seeing full participation out of Geathers, Good and Hunt, each of whom were inactive last Sunday against the Jets. The Colts' injury list continues to shrink in size.