INDIANAPOLIS — Even T.Y. Hilton was a little caught off guard at the way he felt after participating in his first practice in more than two weeks on Wednesday.
Hilton, who has missed the last two games with chest and hamstring injuries — both of which he suffered Week 4 against the Houston Texans — was eager to test the hamstring, specifically, on Wednesday.
"It felt better than I expected," Hilton said.
To the surprise of some, Hilton was listed as a full participant at Wednesday's practice, and he was out for his second straight day on Thursday afternoon, albeit as a limited participant this time around.
He's not yet declaring himself available for Sunday's Week 7 matchup against the Buffalo Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium, however. He realizes the importance of getting back to the lineup as soon as possible — the Colts' offense needs its perennial Pro Bowler and top deep threat on the field — but because of the very nature of hamstring injuries, Hilton doesn't want to risk any sort of setback.
After all, it was setbacks that delayed the returns of left tackle Anthony Castonzo and running back Marlon Mack, each of whom had been dealing with nagging hamstring injuries for months before they were finally both able to return to the field last Sunday against the New York Jets.
"With a hamstring it's always tricky, because you might feel good, and then you're not really good, so you might want to take another week," Hilton told reporters on Thursday. "I feel good; my body feels good."
Maulet back; Geathers out
The good news for the Colts is that their injury report is currently significantly smaller than it has been the past couple weeks.
The bad news is a few key players are still either out or find themselves rotating off and on the practice field.
Cornerback Arthur Maulet, who has been dealing with a hip injury that kept him out of last Sunday's game against the Jets, as well as Wednesday's practice, was back on the practice field for the Colts on Thursday.
But a couple players who did practice on Wednesday weren't out there today: safety Clayton Geathers and tight end Erik Swoope.
Geathers, who suffered a neck injury and a concussion Week 5 against the New England Patriots, was listed as a full participant at Wednesday's practice, but did not practice on Thursday.
Swoope, meanwhile, was a limited participant on Wednesday with a knee injury.
Wide receiver Ryan Grant (ankle) and running back Robert Turbin (shoulder), both of whom were injured against the Jets, missed their second straight days of practice on Thursday, while defensive tackle/end Denico Autry (hamstring) and tight end Jack Doyle (hip), who have been out multiple weeks, also did not practice once again today.
"Luke [Rhodes] and I are honored, you know? It's just a big honor to be by his side and just even talk to the guy. We come into work every single day with him and we learn so much off of him, so it's just amazing what he has done, and it's an honor to be by his side to see him do it. It's awesome." — Colts punter/holder Rigoberto Sanchez, on getting the opportunity to play with Adam Vinatieri, who is just 10 points shy of the league's all-time record for points scored.
Here's Thursday's full practice report:
» DNP: DT/DE Denico Autry (hamstring); TE Jack Doyle (hip); S Clayton Geathers (concussion/neck); WR Ryan Grant (ankle); TE Erik Swoope (knee); RB Robert Turbin (shoulder)
» Limited: WR T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring); CB Arthur Maulet (hip); CB Chris Milton (hamstring); DT Al Woods (not injury related — rest)
» Full: T/G Denzelle Good (not injury related); DT Margus Hunt (knee)
— Milton is the only other new addition to the practice report this week.