INDIANAPOLIS – Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton already established himself as a premier player among all other rookies at the position.
Earlier this year, the Florida International product became the only rookie in the NFL to have tallied 100 receiving yards in multiple games during the 2012 season.
On Sunday, Hilton made another name for himself; this time as a premier return specialist in the league. Hilton's 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter Sunday afternoon against the Bills was the club's first since T.J. Rushing returned a punt for a score back in 2007.
"It was about time, right on time, and made a big difference in the game," Hilton said. "Just stretch-and-cut. I was able to stretch-and-cut and the guys were able to block. We needed it."
Hilton, who exited the game briefly in the second quarter with a head injury, returned to the game in the second half and was on the receiving end of an eight-yard scoring pass from fellow rookie Andrew Luck. Hilton finished the day with 144 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
"Yeah, I think T.Y. just keeps getting better every day," Luck said. "You can see it, he plays confident, he plays fast and that goes for all of the young guys, Dwayne Allen, Weslye Saunders, LaVon Brazill. They're playing fast and when so much attention is attracted to Reggie (Wayne), I think T.Y. is starting to strive on that, watch Reggie, watch how he operates and realize that, 'Hey, there's a good chance I'm getting the ball on this play because of how productive Reggie is.' "
In addition to becoming the only rookie wide receiver this year with multiple games of 100-plus receiving yards, Hilton also became the first Colt in franchise history to return score touchdowns on a punt return and a reception in the same game.
"He flashed," Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians said. "He flashed as a slot receiver but once you get a hold of a guy that is that quick and that fast…and this guy has seriousness about him, he wants to be good. When you have those and God-given talent, you should be successful."
On the Colts' lone touchdown drive of the game, it was Hilton who scored on an eight-yard reception.
"Coach told me just make plays," Hilton said. "Be smart back there and just have fun. That's what it's all about. Have fun and get your teammates involved. The game is slowing down to me. (I have to) keep studying, keep knowing my opponent. Know my opponent better than he knows me. (I'm) ready for whatever is ahead of us."
Hilton remains the team leader in yards-per-catch (14.8) and touchdowns among receivers with five total on the year.