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Malik Hooker Returning To The Lineup For Colts Against Dolphins

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Ballhawk is back in the Indianapolis Colts’ secondary.

Safety Malik Hooker, who missed last week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, appears to be good to go to return to the lineup for the Colts in their Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium.

And Hooker isn’t the only Colts defender set to return to the field today, as defensive tackle Margus Hunt, who was knocked out of last week’s Jaguars game with a knee injury, was able to practice all week and is active today, while cornerback Nate Hairston, who has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, is also active.

Those who are inactive today for the Colts include three tight ends — Mo Alie-Cox, Ryan Hewitt and Erik Swoope — tackle/guard Denzelle Good, center Ryan Kelly, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway and running back Jonathan Williams.

Evan Boehm is expected to get the start in Kelly’s place today.

Hooker has been on and off the practice field — and in and out of the lineup on gameday — since suffering a hip injury Week 7 against the Buffalo Bills. The injury caused him to miss the next week’s game against the Oakland Raiders, but he was able to return after the bye week against the Jaguars, recording four tackles and recovering a late fumble to seal a divisional victory.

But Hooker was unable to practice two weeks ago leading up to the Colts’ Week 11 game against the Tennessee Titans, when he would sit out his second game in three weeks.

Hooker did return to practice on Wednesday and Thursday — albeit as a limited participant — and sat out on Friday. The second-year Ohio State product — the Colts' first-round (15th-overall) pick in last year's NFL Draft — has 31 tackles on the season with one interception, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery in eight games played, all starts.

Hunt, meanwhile, walked off the field in the second quarter of last week’s victory over the Titans and did not return.

The sixth-year veteran was a full participant in all three practices leading up to the Dolphins matchup, however, and hopes to continue building on his career year today. In nine games played, all starts, Hunt has 18 total tackles (11 for loss) with 4.0 sacks, three quarterback hits, two passes defensed and a forced fumble and fumble recovery each.

Hairston, meanwhile, has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. In seven games, all starts, the second-year cornerback has 28 tackles and one pass defensed.

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