INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Thursday held their second of three days of on-field preparations for Sunday's Week 3 contest against the New York Jets. What were some of the top takeaways on the day? Here's today's Colts Notebook.
Here is the Colts' Thursday injury report:
Doyle returns to practice
One key playmaker on the offensive side of the ball made his return to the practice field on Thursday.
Tight end Jack Doyle, who missed all three practices last week with knee and ankle injuries — and was ultimately ruled out of last Sunday's Week 2 win over the Minnesota Vikings — was a limited participant on Thursday (he's now just listed with a knee injury).
Starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, who has been battling a non-football-related illness since Sunday, missed his second straight day of practice today, meanwhile, putting his availability for Sunday's Week 3 matchup against the Jets into question.
The Colts saw Mo Alie-Cox thrive in a starting role in place of Doyle last Sunday against the Vikings, as he had a career-best five receptions for 111 yards, and he could be counted on to continue carrying a larger load if Doyle were to continue playing a limited role or miss Sunday's game. The Colts also have rookie tight end Noah Togiai available on their active roster, while the team has three tight ends — Farrod Green, Hale Hentges and Ethan Wolf — on its practice squad if needed.
Ya-Sin, meanwhile, was a last-minute addition to the Colts' inactives list just before last Sunday's game against the Vikings, and underwent an evaluation at a local hospital.
The Colts were able to roll with Xavier Rhodes, T.J. Carrie and Isaiah Rodgers opposite starter Kenny Moore II at the cornerback position last Sunday with Ya-Sin unable to play. The team this week also elevated cornerback Tremon Smith to the active roster from the practice squad, and has another cornerback, Andre Chachere, on its practice squad if needed.
T.Y. Hilton knew something wasn't quite right the first couple weeks of the season.
After dropping two critical passes as the Colts tried to tie the game on their final drive Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and then getting open over the top but, again, dropping a sure touchdown last Sunday against the Vikings — the sun was also a major factor there —Hilton wasn't his usual happy-go-lucky self.
Leave it to grandma to make it all better.
Hilton said he received a call from his grandmother on Monday night, which got him out of his funk and has him feeling like his old self again.
Grandma didn't mince words, either, Hilton said.
"She just always keeps it 100 with me," Hilton said. "She always shoots it straight with me and lets me know what's up. She's my rock, she's my heart, and she called me and told me that the person that she seen on TV wasn't her grandbaby. She knew that that wasn't me. So, you know, it hurt me for her to tell me that, but she's always kept it real.
"She said, 'You look frustrated,' and that's not the way I play this game," Hilton said. "I'm always happy, always excited. So I'm back to being me. I'm good."
In other words: start Hilton in your fantasy lineups Sunday.
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The stats indicate a solid first two weeks for the Colts' defense.
Through two weeks, the unit ranks first in the NFL in total defense by almost 100 total yards per game allowed over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens (208.0), first in passing yards allowed per game (122.5), fifth in rushing yards allowed per game (85.5), eighth in points allowed per game (19.0), tied for third in sacks (7), tied for second in interceptions (3) and fourth in quarterback rating allowed (76.9).
Darius Leonard is a huge part to that early-season success; he's the All-Pro linebacker right smack dab in the middle of dozens of plays a game, and currently leads the team with 16 tackles (one for a loss) and also has a pass defensed.
So Leonard's got to be encouraged by the defense's start to the season, right? Well, sure, but he'd rather everybody check back in later in the season to get the whole story.
"We're just hoping that we can continue that," Leonard said. "'Cause, I mean, nobody cares that you have the top defense Week 1, Week 3, Week 3 — nobody gives a care. But once it's Week 15, Week 16, that's when everybody says, 'OK, who's the No. 1 defense?' So we've gotta make sure that we can maintain and stay that way.
"And nothing is going to be handed to us," Leonard continued. "We've got to go out and continue to work day in and day out. And we can't get sidetracked because right now we see our name at the top."