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Safeties Clayton Geathers, Malik Hooker Pass Physicals; Back On Active Roster

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WESTFIELD, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts' defense just received a major boost.

The team announced today that starting safeties Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker, each of whom started training camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, have both passed physicals and have been placed on the active roster.

It was knee injuries that shelved both Geathers and Hooker to start camp.

Geathers, who was able to return from offseason neck surgery last season to play in five of the Colts' final six games, underwent a minor knee procedure during the offseason, according to general manager Chris Ballard, and missed the entire on-field portion of the team's offseason workout program.

Hooker, meanwhile, suffered a torn ACL while attempting to make a tackle along the sidelines during the Colts' Week 7 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Ballard had said previously the team was likely going to wait until around Aug. 9 or 10 — which would be the nine-month post-recovery period from ACL surgery — to further evaluate Hooker's immediate status.

Both Geathers and Hooker were seen working with trainers off to the side during parts of some training camp practices, as they put in the final steps necessary to get back to the active roster.

The duo is expected to provide the Indianapolis defense with some serious playmaking ability in the back end of its new 4-3 base scheme.

When healthy, Geathers, 26, has proven to be a hard hitter out of the secondary during his time with the Colts. A fourth-round selection by Indianapolis in the 2015 NFL Draft, Geathers has played in 29 career games with 12 starts, and compiled 99 tackles, six passes defensed.

Hooker, meanwhile, provides new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus a safety with potentially elite ballhawking abilities. A star at Ohio State, where he led the nation in interceptions returned for touchdowns in 2016, Hooker was the Colts' first-round (15th-overall) pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he would promptly become the first rookie in franchise history since 1984 to record an interception in three straight games.

He finished his injury-shortened first NFL season with 21 tackles, three interceptions and four passes defensed.

The task now is to get Geathers and Hooker caught up with the rest of the defense as soon as possible — something Eberflus said today he isn't worried about one bit.

"They’re both athletic, they’re both heady players, and we’re certainly excited to have them both," Eberflus said.

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