INDIANAPOLIS — T.Y. Hilton’s late-season heroics last season were clear proof that he’s more than willing to suit up and play at less than 100 percent for the good of the team.
So this time around, after re-aggravating a quad injury in Sunday’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons, there’s no doubt that if Hilton can go, he’ll be out there this Sunday, when the Indianapolis Colts play host to the Oakland Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It’s just a little early in the process to know one way or another, Hilton told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s doing better, Hilton said of his quad. “It’s a little sore today, but it’s doing better.”
Hilton first appeared on the team’s injury report last Wednesday, and he was a limited participant in all three practices leading up to the Falcons game. Labeled as questionable going into the matchup, Hilton was not only able to suit up in the Colts’ 2019 home opener, but he was everywhere for quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the Indy offense the first two quarters, catching eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
But Hilton at some point late in the second quarter tweaked his quad injury, and after hauling in a four-yard touchdown pass from Brissett with nine seconds to go in the first half — Hilton’s NFL-leading fourth touchdown reception of the season — he headed straight to the locker room and was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
The Colts will keep a close eye on Hilton throughout the week to gauge his status for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. But the eighth-year veteran proved last season he doesn’t need a ton of practice time — or any, for that matter — to remain effective on Sundays.
Hilton suffered both a high and low sprain to the same ankle in the Colts’ Week 14 victory over the Houston Texans last season, but played through pain the rest of the way to help Indy stay hot and eventually earn its first postseason berth in four seasons. Despite rarely practicing over the last month of the season, Hilton continued to dominate on the field; he led the NFL in receiving yards (917) over the last half of the season.
So the lesson this time around: don’t count Hilton out quite yet.
“If I can go, I’ll go,” Hilton said simply, referencing the Raiders game. “If I can’t, then it’s coach’s call.”