Colts’ Jack Doyle, Tyquan Lewis return to practice field; Doyle has ‘chance’ to play at Oakland
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A season interrupted by injury resumes for a pair of high-profile, anxious Indianapolis Colts.
Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle and rookie defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis returned to practice Wednesday. Doyle has missed the last five games with a hip injury while Lewis has yet to step on the field after suffering an injury to his right foot during training camp.
Lewis’s possible return is a few weeks away – he’s been designated to return from the injured reserve list – but it’s not out of the question Doyle is available for Sunday’s road test with the Oakland Raiders.
“I think there’s a chance that he plays,” Frank Reich said.
That would represent a drastic change in approach for the Colts, who routinely err on the side of caution when a player has missed as much time as Doyle. He last played Sept. 16 at Washington.
“I’m just leaving that up to them and we’ll see how it progresses through the week,” Doyle said. “I’m just excited to be back out there, have the opportunity to be back out there with my teammates and play some football.”
Doyle injured his hip on the Colts’ two-minute drive at the end of the first half against the Redskins. He knew something wasn’t right, but remained in the game.
“It felt kind of funny, but my adrenaline was going and I felt OK to go,” he said.
It soon became apparent the hip injury was significant, but Doyle never anticipated missing more than a month.
“No I didn’t, to be honest,” he said. “But that’s what it was. It is what it is. It stinks, but you keep moving forward.
“That was tough news to take, but part of this game. You keep moving forward and that’s what I tried to do during my rehab.”
While Doyle has looked on, his tight end colleagues have more than picked up the slack. Eric Ebron, Erik Swoope and Mo Alie-Cox and Ryan Hewitt have combined for 43 receptions, 498 yards and nine TDs. The TDs are the most by a team’s tight end group in the league.
Doyle’s return is close – if not Sunday, then Nov. 11 against Jacksonville after the Colts come out of their bye week – but Lewis’ debut remains down the road.
The team placed him on IR Sept. 3 after rosters were cut to 53. By league rules, a player must miss at least eight games before returning and a team has 21 days to determine whether the player is game-ready once he begins practicing.
Lewis could make his first appearance against Jacksonville or Nov. 18 against Tennessee.
First things first, and that was Lewis going through Wednesday’s practice.
“I’m just excited to get back out there,” the second-round draft pick said. “It’s been a long three months.”
Lewis’ rookie season was put on hold during training camp. In the days leading up to the Aug. 9 preseason opener at Seattle, he injured his right foot.
“Definitely frustration,” he said. “You expect to go out there and play. Nobody expects an injury or anything. It definitely caught me by surprise.
“But now I’m on track to getting back on the field.”
General manager Chris Ballard has been high on Lewis since investing the 64th overall pick in the April draft on the athletic 6-3, 269-pound Ohio State standout.
“We think Lewis can be an inside pass rusher,” Ballard said.
Lewis appeared in a school-record 55 games at Ohio State with 36 starts. He was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection on the strength of 112 tackles, including 36.5 for a loss, and 23.5 sacks.
“I know my capabilities,” Lewis said. “I know what I can do. I can definitely make a big, big difference.
“But right now I’m just worried about getting back out on the practice field.”