INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Grant has been one of the most durable wide receiver in the NFL in recent seasons, but even he couldn't avoid the injury bug a few weeks back.
Knocked out of the Indianapolis Colts' Week 6 matchup against the New York Jets with an ankle injury, Grant has since missed the first two games of his career as he's worked to get his way back to the field as soon as possible.
With the aid of the bye week, however, Grant seems to be on the right track.
The fifth-year wideout on Wednesday made his return to the practice field, albeit as a limited participant, for the first time since suffering the ankle injury Oct. 14 at MetLife Stadium.
Also making his return to the practice field on Wednesday was cornerback Nate Hairston (ankle), who was not out on the field during the beginning of Monday's session that was available to be seen by reporters.
Among those who did not practice on Wednesday, as the team prepares for Sunday's Week 10 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars: safety Clayton Geathers (knee), tight end Ryan Hewitt (ankle), safety Mike Mitchell (calf), defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (illness) and tight end Erik Swoope (knee).
Grant entered the Jets game tied for fourth in the NFL in consecutive games played among active wide receivers (70), speaking to his durability. The Tulane product has 26 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown on the year, and has been a trusted target to move the chains for quarterback Andrew Luck.
Another veteran receiver, Dontrelle Inman, has done a solid job filling in for Grant during his injury. Signed prior to the Week 7 game against the Buffalo Bills, Innman had six receptions for 52 yards the next week in Indy's victory over the Oakland Raiders.
But Grant's return could be just the latest of many that have been a major boost for a Colts team hoping to win its third straight game on Sunday.
"Yeah, I think we're trending that way," Colts head coach Frank Reich said earlier in the week in an appearance on 1070 The Fan's "Colts Roundtable Live," asked about the team being as healthy as it's been all season. "We've still got a few dings here and there, but guys trending upwards, making progress. So I feel good about the health of our team right now."
"I think there's a bunch of talented players in here, that go out and work hard. And we know the guys that are going to get attention from a defense — we know T.Y. (Hilton) and (Eric) Ebron and the Jack Doyles — but guys are stepping up and making plays. And we know that if we want to be successful as a unit that it takes everybody. And certainly you don't always see what a productive player does, but when lots of guys get touchdown catches, that's fun. That's a little reward, I guess." — Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, on how he's bought into the new offensive system and how several different players have been involved.
Here's Wednesday's full practice report:
» DNP: S Clayton Geathers (knee); TE Ryan Hewitt (ankle); S Mike Mitchell (calf); DT Hassan Ridgeway (illness); TE Erik Swoope (knee)
» Limited: WR Ryan Grant (ankle); CB Nate Hairston (ankle); S Malik Hooker (hip); RB Marlon Mack (foot); DE Kemoko Turay (neck); RB Robert Turbin (shoulder)
» Full: G Braden Smith (hand)