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Colts Safety Malik Hooker Suffers Torn Meniscus, Will Miss 4-6 Weeks

Chicago Bears v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Colts got some tough news today as word came down that the reason for Malik Hooker’s brief absence in Sunday’s game was a torn meniscus in his knee.

This is a big blow, because Hooker had looked solid through week 3 and the defense certainly looks worse without him. The expectation is that this injury will sideline him for 4-6 weeks, which would put his return around the middle of November.

For a defense that has struggled against the pass as it is, this is brutal. Hooker adds a kind of defensive versatility that the Colts just don’t have otherwise. With him in a single high safety look they can play more man coverage, and he gives a serious threat to the back of their defense if quarterbacks try to test them deep.

Perhaps the only positive news here is that the Colts have a bye week in week 6, and they won’t face a top passer in 4 of their next 6 games. Still, the loss is a costly one and will be a challenge for defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.

Thankfully, rookie safety Khari Willis has looked solid when called upon so far this season. He’ll need to continue showing out, because now the pressure will be on him to fill the substantial hole left by Malik Hooker until he can return.