As the Indianapolis Colts prepare to host the undefeated Denver Broncos on Sunday, they might be without one of their key offensive players. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has not practiced at all this week and is listed as questionable for the game. Head coach Chuck Pagano said today that Hilton didn't practice but that he did some running on the treadmill with the trainers and ran well, so it sounds like the Colts aren't ready to rule their number one receiver out quite yet. According to NFL Network's Rand Getlin, Hilton will be a game-time decision.
With that said, however, Hilton missed all three days of practice this week, leaving his status very much in doubt. So far this year, only one of the 14 players to not practice at all in a week has played in the game - Vontae Davis in week five on a short week that changed up the practice schedule. Every other player that missed all three days of practice in a week were ruled out when the Colts gave their final injury update, but today Hilton was listed as questionable.
Hilton hasn't been great this year as he has dealt with other injuries, but he has still caught 38 passes for 621 yards and three scores (averaging 16.3 yards per catch). He has been a major factor in the offense as well, as he has been targeted 82 times (fifth-most in the NFL and the most by a Colt by 20) and leads the team in receptions, yards, yards per catch, 20+ yard receptions, yards after the catch, and receiving first downs. While he's an important part of what the Colts do offensively, with the bye week coming up after Sunday's game, the Colts might consider sitting him so that he can recover and get fully healthy for the second half of the year.
If Hilton can't go, it will leave Donte Moncrief, Andre Johnson, Griff Whalen, and Quan Bray as the wideouts. That's a group that is capable of producing, but they'll face a big challenge in the league's best defense against the Broncos on Sunday. We could see new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski get the tight ends more involved without Hilton, too, which would give Andrew Luck other reliable receiving threats.