The Indianapolis Colts announced a handful of roster maneuvers as starting veteran wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) has been downgraded to ‘Out’ ahead of Sunday Night Football’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
After leading the Colts with 4 receptions for 80 receiving yards versus the Houston Texans last weekend, Hilton was forced to leave the game with the quad injury and did not return—with the game already well decided.
While his injury isn’t expected to be a long-term one, the Colts may be taking a cautious approach with the 31 year old veteran, who the team had just gotten back from injury prior to.
Hilton will join Braden Smith (foot/thumb), Kemoko Turay (groin), Rock Ya-Sin (ankle), and Jordan Wilkins (non-football illness)—on what’s an ‘army of Colts inactives’ for Sunday night.
In Hilton’s absence, the Colts promoted former Texans wideout Keke Coutee from the team’s practice squad.
The former 2018 4th round pick of the Texans is a young wide receiver with 83 career receptions for 941 receiving yards (11.3 ypr. avg.) and 4 touchdown receptions, who can hopefully add some lost speed offensively—with both Hilton ruled out and fellow wideout Parris Campbell (foot) recently placed on injured reserve.
If there’s any encouraging news, it’s that 3x First-Team NFL All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson was activated off of injured reserve after missing the past three games because of a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 3’s loss against the Tennessee Titans.
Lastly, the Colts also officially placed starting safety Julian Blackmon on injured reserve, after he suffered a season-ending torn Achilles injury during Wednesday’s team practice.
In a corresponding 53-man active roster move, the Colts elevated veteran safety Josh Jones from the team’s practice squad for additional safety depth.
The former 2017 2nd round pick of the Green Bay Packers has also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys (2019) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2020) organizations before being signed to the Colts practice squad earlier this past week.
He has 211 career tackles (160 solo), 7 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 8 passes defensed during 48 games (25 starts).
He started 13 games for the Jaguars last year and brings some experience to the position as a veteran backup—as well as a potential special teams contributor.
Per PFF (subscription), Jones received a +43.9 overall grade in 2020 with the Jaguars. In coverage, he was targeted 33 times for 29 receptions (87.9% reception rate), 339 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, and an interception—along with an allowed NFL passer rating of 136.4.
Needless to say, the injuries keep coming for the Colts, and it has consistently been ‘next man up’ during the 2021 campaign—making things very challenging.