Colts’ notebook: T.Y. Hilton iffy, Ryan Kelly ready, Malik Hooker fined

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 18: T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts runs to celebrate after a touchdown in the game against the Tennessee Titans in the third quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The waiting game continues for T.Y. Hilton.

The Indianapolis Colts’ Pro Bowl wideout missed his third day of practice Friday while dealing with an ankle injury, casting doubt on his availability for Sunday’s meeting with the Dallas Cowboys at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“We’re going to have to hold off on that decision and see how he responds in the next 24 hours and make that decision,’’ Frank Reich said.

If Hilton is cleared for action against the Cowboys, he would be the first Colt to play after not practicing at least once during the week of a game.

“It always is case by case,’’ Reich said. “Generally speaking, not practicing Friday would not be good, but it is later in the year.

“It’s still up on the air. It’s touch-and-go. We’ve just got to see how he responds in the next 24 hours. We’re just hoping for the best.’’

Hilton is in the midst of one of the best five-game stretches of his career: 36 receptions, 633 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also coming off a 9-catch, 199-yard performance at Houston.

Hilton, who missed two games earlier this season with chest and hamstring injuries, injured an ankle at the end of a 60-yard reception in the second quarter against the Texans.

Kelly ready

Ryan Kelly appears ready to return to the starting lineup.

The veteran center returned to practice this week after missing the previous three games with a sprained ligament in his left knee.

“The first day was a little rocky. I felt rusty,’’ Kelly said. “But (Thursday) I felt really good and played really well. Today was just kind of a lighter day.

“I feel good. I’m ready to go.’’

Kelly’s return coincides with the loss of right guard Mark Glowinski, who was ruled out after sustaining an ankle injury at Houston. The Colts didn’t address who might replace Glowinski, but Joe Haeg is a likely option.

“It was a little bit different, but that’s just the way it is in the NFL,’’ Kelly said of adjusting to a new right guard. “It was good to be back out there and get back on the saddle a little bit.’’

Along with Glowinski, Reich ruled safety Mike Mitchell (calf) and linebacker Skai Moore (neck) out of Sunday’s game.

Hooker fined

As expected, safety Malik Hooker was fined by the NFL for what the officials considered a hitting-a-defenseless-receiver penalty last Sunday at Houston. Previous fines for similar plays have been $26,739.

“Yeah,’’ Hooker confirmed, “and I’m going to appeal it. If I get it reduced or taken away, so be it.’’

The play in question occurred in the first quarter. Hooker and safety Clayton Geathers converged on Texans’ wideout DeAndre Carter at the goal line. Carter went down in an attempt at catching Deshaun Watson’s pass and Hooker hit him with his shoulder. The football ricocheted in the air with Geathers intercepting it.

The penalty negated the interception and opened up Hooker for the fine.

“If I don’t do what I did, it’s a touchdown,’’ he said. “It was a good play. I don’t think he was defenseless, in my opinion. He’s diving for the ball and his head is down. I’m using my shoulder.

“There wasn’t too much I could have done on that play.’’

Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus agreed.

“The ball is there, he is there and the man is there,’’ he said. “The guy is catching the ball in flight. He’s in the air. So Malik was just going for the ball and the way it came out is the way it came out.

“So I thought it was a really good play by him.’’

It marks at least the third time this season a Colt player has been levied a heavy fine. Two players docked $26,739 for leading with their helmet were linebacker Matthew Adams and guard Quenton Nelson.

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