Colts Friday Notebook: Darius Leonard Out, T.Y. Hilton Doubtful For Sunday

Colts Friday Notebook: Darius Leonard Out, T.Y. Hilton Doubtful For Sunday

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Colts Friday Notebook: Darius Leonard Out, T.Y. Hilton Doubtful For Sunday

On Friday, the Colts had their last practice of the week. What were the takeaways from the final injury report before Sunday’s game against the Raiders?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s looking like the Colts will indeed be without 3 of their most important players on Sunday against the Raiders.


Frank Reich first ruled out LB-Darius Leonard (concussion), DT-Tyquan Lewis (ankle), S-Malik Hooker (knee) following Friday’s practice.


A few hours later, the Colts announced that WR-T.Y. Hilton (quad) is doubtful for Sunday’s game.


What else did we learn from the final practice of the week?


  • "You’ll find out on Sunday,” was T.Y. Hilton’s answer on Friday about him playing against the Raiders. Hilton is listed as ‘doubtful' though with Frank Reich being a bit coy with the media on Friday afternoon. The Colts are playing the ‘competitive advantage’ card with their star receiver, but it’s looking like the Pro Bowler will miss Week Four. A doubtful designation on a player usually means he will not play in that game. Hilton didn’t practice all week. The veteran wideout said he was ‘ahead of schedule’ on Friday, and that he was ‘doing better.’ The Colts promoted undrafted WR-Ashton Dulin from the practice squad on Friday (and waived CB-Ryan Lewis), which is another indication that Hilton won’t play, and then good news on Pierre Desir playing (see more below).
  • As I mentioned earlier in the week, comparing Hilton not practicing last year, yet still playing, with his ankle sprain issues, is not directly relatable to this current quad situation. FWIW, Hilton practiced just 2 (limited) times in the final 6 weeks last season (including the playoffs). Despite all that missed practice time, from Week 10 of the 2018 regular season and on Hilton had the most receiving yards in the entire league, by 163 yards. If Hilton can’t go on Sunday, the Colts are losing easily their top pass catching target. Hilton has caught 20 balls in 3 games, as he’s on pace for a career-high in catches. The other 4 ‘healthy’ wideouts for the Colts have combined for 13 catches this season. Sunday could be a huge opportunity for youngster Deon Cain and Parris Campbell to show the Colts something.
  • While Darius Leonard (concussion) will miss a second straight game, he is making positive strides within the league’s protocol. Frank Reich said Leonard is further along in the concussion protocol this Friday, compared to last Friday: “He’s making good progress,” Reich said on Friday. The Colts were practicing outdoors on Friday, but it appeared Leonard was inside the team’s indoor facility getting some field work in.
  • Officially, it’s a ‘questionable’ designation for Jabaal Sheard. He might be closer to ‘doubtful’ though considering he still hasn’t had a ‘full’ practice in the last two months. Maybe the Colts think he can give them a scaled back rotational role on Sunday. But given that Sheard has missed two months, and that he’s north of 30 years old, you might want to get him a full week of practice before he makes that 2019 debut.
  • Cornerback Pierre Desir played every single snap in Week Four, after he was limited in practice last week due to a knee injury. Well, a hamstring injury kept Desir off the field on Wednesday and Thursday this week. He was limited on Friday. Desir seemed to be pretty active in doing some rehab work on Thursday and Friday, so he’s got a chance to give it a go on Sunday.
  • The Colts defense has the approach that they are more content with giving up some yardage, compared to other defensive philosophies. But they know that they must be sound situationally. That’s been missing early in the 2019 season. The Colts defense currently ranks 28th on third down (51.6 percent) and 28th in the red zone (77.8 percent). If you are better situationally, that can mask some of the issues in yards allowed or first downs given up. But that’s not been the case so far.
  • On paper, Sunday is one of the ‘easier’ games the Colts will have in 2019. As a 7-point favorite, it’s the largest positive spread ever in a Jacoby Brissett start. Why is that high? The Raiders have been outscored 62-14 in the last 7 quarters. Oakland has scored 14 total points on their last 18 offensive drives.
  • The Colts have won 7 straight games at home, which is the second longest active streak in the NFL (New England has 15). They also have scored at least 23 points in 9 straight games at home. Those are two very impressive notes inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
  • A couple of other notable Colts offensive notes: The Colts are 4th in third down rate (54.3%). They are second in 3rd-and-short (3rd-and-4 and less) at 91.7 percent. They are first in 3rd-and-10 or longer at 50.0 percent. The Colts have 5 touchdown drives of at least 10 plays (tied for the tops in the NFL).
  • Derek Carr’s highest career passer rating against one team? It’s against the Colts (128.9 rating). The Oakland QB has thrown for 6 TDs and 0 INTs in 2 games vs. Indy. Last year, Carr completed 17 straight passes against Colts, with Malik Hooker also missing that game.
  • On Friday morning, I was over at Pacers media day. Victor Oladipo was asked about Andrew Luck’s retirement and offered a pretty passionate answer. Here’s Oladipo on if he understands where Luck is coming from: “I can’t understand where he’s coming from, because I’m, unfortunately, not in his shoes. There’s always one story everyone hears but there’s always more than one story to the tale. At the end of the day, none of us know what Andrew really went through or what’s really going on with Andrew. We just know what’s released on the Internet and on paper. He did the best for himself, his family and in his career. If you can’t respect that, that has nothing to do with him, his family or his career, it has everything to do with you as a person. At the end of the day, all you can do is respect that he went out there and did his best, and did all he could. At the end of the day, let’s be real, those guys are out there basically killing themselves, every possession, every down. It’s a very dangerous sport. At the end of the day, like I said, if you were in his position, and you wanted to see your little baby girl grow up, too, but every time you went out there there’s a chance that you might not be able to do that, what would you choose? It puts things in a totally different perspective. I can’t answer that question. I don’t know what he went through. I can’t understand what he went through, because I’m not in his shoes. But I do respect him.”





OUT: LB-Darius Leonard (concussion), DT-Tyquan Lewis (ankle), S-Malik Hooker (knee)


            Bowen Analysis: Lewis was in a boot after the win over the Falcons, which is the game he got hurt in. He didn't practice all this week.


DOUBTFUL: WR-T.Y. Hilton (quad)


            Bowen Analysis: The Hilton update is above.


QUESTIONABALE: CB-Pierre Desir (hamstring), DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad (neck), DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee)


            Bowen Analysis: Muhammad practiced full on Friday, so that’s a good sign of his availability in Week Four. If Muhmmad can’t go this Sunday, then the Colts would likely need to promote rookie Gerri Green from the practice squad.


The following guys were on the injury report in Week Four, but have since been removed and are good to go for this Sunday: RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs), C-Ryan Kelly (illness), S-Rolan Milligan (knee)

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