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Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker returning to form despite low snap counts

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts have been patient in Malik Hooker’s return from an anterior collateral ligament injury suffered in October of last season.

It’s paying off, and it was evident in the Colts’ preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hooker was the second-highest graded player on defense for Indianapolis, just one spot behind Ryan Delaire — who just signed with the Colts this month.

Delaire, a player that has been impressive in a short amount of time, graded out at 92.9 while Hooker earned an 84.9.

While it’s clear the former Buckeye isn’t interested hearing about his grade from PFF, he was happy because he was able to take the field in pads and not street clothes.

“It felt great just getting back into my routine for the season and getting to go out there and run around with my teammates,” Hooker said to reporters after the game. “It felt great to be back out there.”

Hooker took the field for three series — equaling out to 20 snaps — with one tackle and one pass breakup.

After waiting nearly a full year, the second-year safety is looking to make an impact for the defensive unit. He isn’t going to worry about another setback. His focus is straight football.

“It was full-go for me,” Hooker said. “I look at it as football. Injuries happen. If it happens, it’s just a part of my story.”