Colts deal with lengthy injury list in preparation for Raiders
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There’s one positive aspect of the Indianapolis Colts’ Wednesday injury/participation report: It’s only Wednesday.
Otherwise, the anxiety level at West 56h Street probably would be elevated. Seven players didn’t practice Wednesday and three others were limited.
The seven players held out of practice included six starters: wideout T.Y. Hilton (quad), linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion), cornerback Pierre Desir (hamstring), safety Malik Hooker (knee), center Ryan Kelly (illness) and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (neck). The other was backup defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis (ankle).
Defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee), running back Jonathan Williams (rib) and safety Rolan Milligan (knee) were limited.
Hooker won’t play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders after tearing the meniscus in one of his knees in the win over the Atlanta Falcons. He could miss up to six weeks.
The status of everyone else won’t be determined until Friday at the earliest.
However, it’s hardly encouraging that Leonard wasn’t involved with Wednesday’s practice. He remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol after suffering a concussion in the week 2 win at Tennessee and must pass through the various steps before being cleared to return.
“We’re just going to adhere by that protocol and make sure we’re taking care of Darius,’’ Reich said Monday.
Seven Colts were diagnosed with concussions last season and four missed one game, as has Leonard. Cornerback Quincy Wilson missed three games while safety Clayton Geathers missed two with concussion/neck issues.
The uncertainty surrounding Hilton could linger to Sunday. It’s conceivable he won’t practice, or be limited Thursday or Friday, yet still play against the Raiders.
“If I feel good, I’ll go,’’ Hilton said Tuesday. “It’s coach’s call.’’
Sheard has missed the first three games after undergoing a procedure on his right knee during training camp. He practiced the first day at Westfield, but then experienced swelling in the knee.
Frank Reich made it clear the team isn’t going to rush Sheard back on the field. Sheard was a defensive cornerstone the last two seasons, starting all 34 games, including the playoffs.
“We’re making progress,’’ Reich said. “He’ll ramp it up a little bit (in practice), but this has been a slow process with him. We want to be smart. It’s a long season so we just want to continue to ramp him up slowly.’’
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