INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday added a couple reinforcements at the tight end position — and not a moment too soon.
The team saw the return of Ryan Hewitt and Erik Swoope — both of whom have been out multiple weeks with injuries — to the practice field, fresh off the news that starter Jack Doyle would miss the rest of the season as he deals with a serious kidney injury.
Hewitt and Swoope returning was the good news. The potentially not-so-great news was the fact several key players were not out on the field Wednesday as the Colts began preparations for Sunday's road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Among those not participating in the early portion of practice available to be seen by the media included the team's two other tight ends — Mo Alie-Cox and Eric Ebron — as well as starters at wide receiver (T.Y. Hilton), running back (Marlon Mack), center (Ryan Kelly), linebacker (Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker) and safety (Clayton Geathers).
While some of those players are dealing with injuries that place them more in a day-to-day mode as far as their availability — Mack is in the concussion protocol, while Kelly is working his way back from a nagging knee injury — the team has seen more players take what amounts to rest days in recent weeks as the season wears on. Thursday and Friday's practice reports will be far more indicative of the team's health status heading into the Jaguars game.
Back to those who did return on Wednesday, however.
» Hewitt has missed the Colts' last three games with an ankle injury suffered Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders. He was able to be a limited participant in one practice two weeks ago, but did not practice at all last week leading up to Indy's Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Hewitt has played in seven games with one start for the Colts this season.
» Swoope was knocked out of the Colts' Week 7 game against the Buffalo Bills with a knee injury and hadn't been able to return to practice prior to Wednesday. Colts head coach Frank Reich had said previously the injury to Swoope was more of a lingering issue, and that his availability could fluctuate at times moving forward. "We anticipate (it) will continue to get better. But for right now, it gets aggravated and, you know, just got to take care of it." Swoope on the season has played in five games with two starts, and has caught seven passes for 83 yards and three touchdowns. He had caught a touchdown pass in three straight games prior to suffering his knee injury.
Here's Wednesday's full practice report:
» DNP: TE Mo Alie-Cox (calf); TE Eric Ebron (back); S Clayton Geathers (knee); WR T.Y. Hilton (groin); C Ryan Kelly (knee); LB Darius Leonard (shoulder/knee); RB Marlon Mack (concussion); LB Anthony Walker (shoulder)
» Limited: TE Ryan Hewitt (ankle); S Malik Hooker (hip); S Mike Mitchell (calf); TE Erik Swoope (knee)
» Full: None