INDIANAPOLIS — As the Indianapolis Colts hit the stretch run of the regular season, their health at wide receiver — which has been hit hard by the injury bug all year — seems to be slowly, but surely, improving.
Case in point: wide receivers Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton on Wednesday were both limited participants in a non-walkthrough practice together for the first time since Hilton went down with a calf injury in practice on Oct. 30 and Campbell suffered a fractured hand four days later against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Campbell, Hilton and Devin Funchess — the Colts' top three wide receivers — have combined to miss 19 games so far this season, but Campbell has a shot to play in Sunday's crucial Week 13 home matchup against the Tennessee Titans, while Hilton is hoping to see his role increase after returning to play just 25 offensive snaps last Thursday against the Houston Texans.
Head coach Frank Reich said today the team is utilizing more of a wait-and-see approach for the rookie Campbell, who underwent surgery to his right hand about three weeks ago, but had expressed hope that he could return to the lineup by December.
"We've gotta see what he can do if he has to wear anything on his hand," Reich said. "If he does have to wear something on his hand, can he catch with it? How much protection does he need? I know they've been tweaking and experimenting with some things. We'll just see how that goes and how he can practice.
"I know this: I mean, he'll just have to show us that he can do it out there on the field if he has to wear something on the hand," Reich said. "Especially because he's a younger player, he's gonna need to practice and show it on the field that he's ready to go."
Hilton, meanwhile, said he felt some tightness in his calf in last Thursday's loss to the Texans at NRG Stadium, but was hoping to take advantage of a few extra days off before the Titans game to be able to play a larger role Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"We'll see how he responds during the week," Reich said of Hilton today. "He's going to be limited out there today, and hopefully he can progress during the week, and then we'll see what kind of load he can handle on Sunday."
Funchess out vs. Titans
Funchess, the third injured Colts receiver, has already been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Titans, Reich said today.
The fifth-year veteran suffered a broken clavicle in Indy's season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, and was subsequently placed on injured reserve with hopes that he could return later in the year.
The Colts officially designated Funchess as one of their two return-from-IR candidates on Nov. 13, when he made his return to the practice field. That set in motion a 21-day window for the team to decide whether to move the receiver to the active roster or revert him to IR for the rest of the season.
That deadline is next Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Reich confirmed today that the team is still waiting for Funchess' bone to completely heal before making any sort of move one way or another.
"He's not gonna make it this week, not because of anything we've learned in the last couple days, but I just know that we'll get something checked out later in the week," Reich said of Funchess. "And it's all going fine; we've had no setbacks, there's been nothing negative, it's just the reality is from where we've gotta be and what we need to see this week he won't make it there on Sunday, but hopefully sooner rather than later."
Here's the full injury report from Wednesday's practice:
» DNP: TE Mo Alie-Cox (thumb); RB Marlon Mack (hand)
» Limited: WR Parris Campbell (hand); S Clayton Geathers (not injury related; rest); WR T.Y. Hilton (calf); G Quenton Nelson (hip); S Khari Willis (concussion)
» Full: CB Rock Ya-Sin (ankle)
— Willis today participated in his first practice since being placed in the concussion protocol after the Colts' Week 11 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars; he then missed last Thursday's game against the Texans.