Colts Notebook: T.Y. Hilton Questionable, Pierre Desir Good To Go For Thursday Night

Colts Notebook: T.Y. Hilton Questionable, Pierre Desir Good To Go For Thursday Night

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Colts Notebook: T.Y. Hilton Questionable, Pierre Desir Good To Go For Thursday Night

Before the Colts board a plane and head to Houston for their Thursday night game, they released their final injury report of the week. What did that look like?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – All things considered, the Colts have a pretty good injury report heading into Thursday Night Football.

The crisis situation the Colts had on Monday has definitely lessened, with the team now in Houston for their matchup with the Texans.

On Wednesday, the Colts ruled these 4 players OUT for Thursday night: WR-Parris Campbell (hand), RB-Marlon Mack (hand), CB-Shakial Taylor (ankle), S-Khari Willis (concussion).

What are the takeaways from the final injury report of the week?

  • The Texans are expecting T.Y. Hilton to play on Thursday night. And a ‘full’ designation from Hilton on Wednesday’s injury report is a positive sign that The Ghost could indeed return to the lineup against the Texans. Officially, the Colts are listing Hilton as ‘questionable.’ The estimated practice report had him as a full participant on Wednesday, which is typically a good sign for guys listed as questionable. Having said that, Hilton has still missed 3 straight weeks of practice. But both Hilton and Frank Reich said this week that the star receiver did not need practice time in order to play on Thursday. It’s not a lock Hilton plays against the Texans, but he’s got a definite shot to suit up.
  • Technically, WR-Devin Funchess (clavicle) doesn’t have to be listed on the injury report because he’s still on injured reserve. But the consensus is Funchess’ return won’t come Thursday, because it appears he’s yet to have a practice in a full-contact jersey since the season opener. Still, the mere presence of Hilton on the field would force the Texans to properly address the Colts’ top playmaker. “Me not being in there, teams play totally different,” Hilton said on Tuesday. “They play out of character. That’s what they’ve been doing. If I’m able to get back out there, then we’ll be a tough team.”
  • Some great news on the final injury report of the week was seeing CB-Pierre Desir with ‘no game status.’ That means Desir is good to go for Thursday night. Desir has practiced just 3 times in the last 15 sessions, but was involved in the team’s walk-through every day this week. On Tuesday, Desir mentioned that he wasn’t even 100 percent when he played every snap against the Texans back in Week 7. The presence of Desir on the field could allow for Matt Eberflus to have his ‘DeAndre Hopkins shadow’ in the game plan.
  • Rookie cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle) was ‘limited’ on Wednesday and is listed as ‘questionable’ for Thursday. So the rookie has a chance to play against the Texans. The return of Desir (plus the emergence of rookie Marvell Tell) though lessons the absolute need for Ya-Sin to play. Still, Ya-Sin has played the most defensive/special teams snaps of any Colts player this season. This will be a name to watch on Thursday’s inactive list.
  • This might sound crazy, but it’s looking like a real chance the Colts have their starting base defense from Week 1 healthy for Thursday. Sure, the Colts could be down Rock Ya-Sin and are without Kemoko Turay and Khari Willis. But from a ‘starting’ defensive standpoint, it looks like a healthy group going up against the potent Texans.
  • With Marlon Mack OUT for some time, the Colts are expected to go with Jonathan Williams or Jordan Wilkins as the lead back, with Nyheim Hines still having his (normal) important/versatile role more so in the passing game. Would the Colts want to ride the hot hand with Williams starting, and then have Wilkins in more of the backup lead guy role coming off his ankle injury? If Williams gets the start on Thursday, it will be in the building where he had his last starting nod. That was in the 2014 Texas Bowl, as Williams ran for 105 yards in an Arkansas’ bowl victory over the University of Texas.
  • With Khari Willis (concussion) OUT for Thursday, the assumption is the Colts will go back to their original starting safety duo to start the season---with Clayton Geathers joining Malik Hooker. While Geathers hasn’t started recently, the Colts have still rotated quite a bit at safety, with George Odum also having a role in sub packages. Odum banged up his shoulder late in the win over Jacksonville but looks like he will play on Thursday.
  • When asked earlier this week about trends in Thursday night games, Frank Reich shared this: “The trend that I’ve felt and experienced is a good trend offensively---a lot of times you have less time, so tend to focus on basic things, (so) keep it simple. You are reminded that those things actually work. That’s why they are in there.” If the Colts are going to keep it simple on Thursday, would that mean a heavy focus on the run game and the underneath passing game?
  • From a run game standpoint, it’s hard to find a much better performance for an offensive line than what the Colts put up against Jacksonville. Earlier this week, Frank Reich spoke specifically about the mindset for his O-line this week. “We talked about the tendency to let down after a good performance,” Reich said. “It’s just human nature. When you have as good of a game as you did last Sunday and play that well in all three phases, what we talked about, is there can’t be any let down. Let’s just acknowledge there’s a human nature tendency after having a dominating performance to think, ‘We got this.’ That’s the last thing we need (on Thursday).”
  • Jacoby Brissett is 4-0 in his career against the Texans, but he’s played a different quarterback in each matchup: Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage, T.J. Yates, Deshaun Watson. Thursday will be the first time Brissett’s seen another Houston quarterback again. Brissett has thrown for 7 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, with a passer rating of 107.2 in those 4 wins over the Texans (1 of which came when he was in New England).
  • Everyone knows the dynamic nature of Deshaun Watson. That has been seen quite a few times in primetime. Watson has 19 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions, with a quarterback rating of 121 in his 6 career night games.



OUT: RB-Marlon Mack (hand), CB-Shakial Taylor (ankle), S-Khari Willis (concussion), WR-Parris Campbell (hand)


           -Bowen Analysis: This will be the 7th missed game of Mack’s three-year career.


QUESTIONABLE: TE-Mo Alie-Cox: (thumb), TE-Eric Ebron (ankle), WR-T.Y. Hilton (calf), CB-Rock Ya-Sin (ankle)


           -Bowen Analysis: With just 3 tight ends on the 53-man roster, Alie-Cox and Ebron are expected to play on Thursay.


The following players have been on the injury report this week, but are expected to play on Thursday: OT-Anthony Castonzo (toe), CB-Pierre Desir (hamstring), S-George Odum (shoulder), RB-Jordan Wilkins (ankle).

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