HOUSTON — T.Y. Hilton wasn't about to miss an opportunity to try to put on another show at NRG Stadium.
The Indianapolis Colts' top wide receiver is active for today's Week 14 road matchup against the Houston Texans after a shoulder injury kept him out of two days of practice this past week. The seventh-year Florida International product was able to return by Friday, however, when he was a limited participant.
Also active today for the Colts is wide receiver rookie Daurice Fountain, who could be making his NFL debut.
Those inactive for Indy today: tight end Mo Alie-Cox, tacke/guard Le'Raven Clark, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, center Ryan Kelly, safety Mike Mitchell, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway and running back Jonathan Williams.
Hilton hopes to continue his traditional dominance against the AFC South Division rival Texans (9-3) — not only try to help snap Houston's nine-game win streak, but to help keep his Colts (6-6) in the hunt the AFC playoff race.
Hilton has saved his best football for the Texans; in 13 career games against Houston, Hilton has 67 receptions for 1,246 yards and nine touchdowns.
But Hilton has been especially productive at NRG Stadium. In six games in Houston, Hilton has caught 32 passes for 734 yards and seven scores — averages of more than five receptions, 122 yards and one touchdown per game.
Accordingly, Hilton — who had four receptions for 115 yards back in Week 4 against the Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium before exiting the game with chest and hamstring injuries — has the attention of the Houston defenders.
"I might have to triple-team the guy," Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel told reporters earlier this week. "I know that impacts everywhere else, but that way he will not get to go off."
Despite missing two games this season, Hilton still has been a major weapon in head coach Frank Reich's offense this season, catching 53 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns.
"The guy can run pretty much any route, and I think they're doing a great job of really hiding him, certain formations," Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu said, via The Houston Chronicle."He's getting a lot of targets, so it's a big challenge for the cornerbacks, definitely big challenge for the safeties to really identify him within every formation and try to stop him."
The Colts will likely rely heavily on Hilton, as well as their talented group of pass-catching tight ends, today against a Houston defense that has been dominant against the run this season — its 91.3 rushing-yards-per-game average ranks fifth in the NFL — but has been about average against the pass.
The Texans' 250.2 passing-yards-per-game average ranks 18th; they also allowed Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to complete 40-of-62 passes for 464 yards with four touchdowns back in Week 4, when Houston was able to escape Indy with a 37-34 overtime victory, sparking its current nine-game win streak.
While the Colts will be without their No. 2 wide receiver, Inman, today — he's inactive with a shoulder injury — Reich has liked what he's seen out of his passing attack this season when other players have been forced to step up from week to week.
Perhaps the next player that can enter this club is Fountain. The fifth-round pick in this year's NFL Draft has been on the practice squad the entire season, but was promoted to the active roster for the first time on Friday.
"The good thing is during the year everybody is rotating in, getting reps and you really do build a lot of confidence as the year goes on," Reich said. "We say it at the beginning of the year when we first get our roster, it's going to take everybody in here to go where we want to go. Everyone is going to participate, everyone is going to be a part of this and that always plays itself out. The guys have done a good job."