Malik Hooker, Clayton Geathers Get Long-Awaited First Game Action Together

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INDIANAPOLIS — A moment that was more than a year in the making happened on Saturday night as starting Indianapolis Colts safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers shared the field together in a game for the first time.

Both players started with the first-team defense in the Colts' preseason Week 3 game against the San Francisco 49ers, playing the majority of the first half together.

In all, Geathers and Hooker were together for the first three defensive series in the first half, amounting to 21 defensive plays. Geathers would go on to play 45 plays in the game, going the full distance with the first-team defense into the third quarter. He also played sparingly on special teams.

Hooker was on a snap count tonight since it was his first preseason game of the year; he was relieved by Matthias Farley late in the first half.

“It’s a special moment,” Hooker told Colts.com after the game. “I mean even just talking to him (Geathers) out there after I had finished my plays and asking him how he felt I did and getting his feedback on how I played was just a special thing.”

Saturday was Hooker and Geathers’ first game together because they each spent part of 2017 injured.

The Colts selected Hooker in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft to form a powerful safety duo, as Geathers was heading into his third year.

Both started last year’s training camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list while recovering from surgeries, however. Hooker was able to return in time for Week 1, but Geathers remained on the PUP list to start the regular season.

At some point in the season it appeared the Colts would have their two stud safeties, but then things took an unfortunate turn.

Hooker suffered a torn ACL and MCL during Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on Oct. 24. Geathers wouldn’t be activated for the beginning of his season until three weeks later.

Hooker and Geathers started this year’s training camp the same as last year — on the Active/PUP list recovering from surgeries. This time, they were activated from the PUP list at the same time, only a week into camp and with plenty of time to prepare for the regular season.

Now a few weeks into his return, Hooker said that getting back into game action on Saturday “felt great." He logged a tackle and knocked down a potential touchdown pass to tight end Cole Hikutini.

“Just being able to get back into my routine for in-season and being able to go out there and run around with my teammates, it felt great to be back out there,” he said.

Although we saw the pair together on Saturday, we will likely have to wait for the regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept 9 to see Geathers and Hooker again. Earlier this week, head coach Frank Reich told the media that starters will not play in the final preseason game on Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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