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Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton, Darius Butler Return To Practice On Tuesday

Intro: Before the Colts welcome the Bears for practices the next two days, they got back on the field themselves on Tuesday for about an hour practice.


INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time since mid-June, the Colts were back on the fields at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for practice.

The one-hour practice on Tuesday was a light one before the Chicago Bears arrive later tonight for practices the next two days.

What were the takeaways from the Colts getting back on the field on Tuesday?


  1. Back to work at their complex, the Colts returned to the practice field on Tuesday for a lighter session in shoulder pads. We did see the return of T.Y. Hilton, Vick Ballard, Darius Butler and Donte Moncrief on Tuesday.

From a personnel standpoint, Hugh Thornton slid into the starting right guard spot with Todd Herremans observing Tuesday's practice. The main focus of Tuesday was some 11-on-11 work, including sessions in the red-zone and in two-minute situations.

  1. While there weren't too many plays ran on Tuesday (compared to practices in Anderson), the 11-on-11 work provided a chance for rookie running back Josh Robinson to get more reps.

Robinson made a nice extension for a grab over the middle during this time. Anytime you draft a rookie running back, questions on what they can do outside of just purely running the football is always of concern. Robinson showed on Sunday in Philadelphia, and has in smaller samples during practice, that he can handle the extra duties of catching the ball out of the backfield and in pass protection.

  1. We saw Vick Ballard take part in some team drills on Tuesday, another key step in him returning to live action for the first time in two years. Ballard missed the Colts preseason opener due to a hamstring injury.

Ballard said on Tuesday that he isn't sure yet if he will play on Saturday against Chicago. Participating more and more in practice the next two days will be key for Ballard feeling completely comfortable before game action. One tough dilemma the Colts face with their injured players is obviously wanting them as healthy as possible before evaluating them in games. Ballard certainly falls into this category.


  • Colts GM Ryan Grigson met with the media on Tuesday and didn't offer a concrete timetable for Donald Thomas' return. Like Ballard, Thomas is another guy battling back from injuries that have taken him away from football for two straight seasons. Thomas remains on the PUP list.
  • Grigson was asked about contract talks with Anthony Castonzo and the Colts GM said he was "not going to comment on active negotiations."
  • After not playing in Sunday's preseason opener, Frank Gore was back at practice, per usual, on Tuesday. Gore, who hasn't missed any practice time during Training Camp, said he would like to get some playing time this preseason but it's clearly not a necessity. Gore has received four, four and three carries in each of the last three preseasons.
  • Nate Irving and Vontae Davis were dressed for Tuesday's practice, however, both went into the indoor facility for rehab work when the horn blew to start practice.
  • Darius Butler returned for work on Tuesday and had an interception return for a touchdown during red-zone work.


The following players did not participate in Tuesday's practice: Robert Mathis (Achilles) and Donald Thomas (quad). Both players are on the PUP list (can be removed from that list at anytime). Inside linebacker Nate Irving (knee) continues to sit out as he recovers from a 2014 ACL surgery.

The following players either missed Tuesday's practice or left early: cornerback Donald Celiscar, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner, running back Boom Herron, cornerback D'Joun Smith (concussion), wide receiver Andre Johnson, and offensive guard Todd Herremans.

On Tuesday morning, the Colts signed undrafted free agent wide receiver L.T. Smith and waived wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck.

Smith, 6-0, 202 pounds, played in 48 games (34 starts) at Akron and recorded 117 receptions for 1,426 yards and nine touchdowns. He started his collegiate career at safety and recorded 41 tackles (23 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery.


Pep Hamilton the mental capacity of rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett:

"Well he's fast, but I think, he's a fast study as well. One of the things that's been surprising about Dorsett is his ability to digest a lot of information and be able to play multiple positions in our offense. It's always been a challenge for a lot of young players to be able to come in and handle the volume that we put on them. He's done a pretty good job."


Frank Gore on what he saw from rookie Josh Robinson in the preseason opener:

"Tough guy. Runs the ball very hard, low to the ground. He makes defenders miss. He did great at protection."


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