Colts safety Malik Hooker walks off the field.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 22: Injured Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (29) gets helped off the field during the NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts on October 22, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colts Monday Notebook: Malik Hooker, Parris Campbell Suffer Significant Injuries

INDIANAPOLIS Two weeks into the regular season, the Colts have had another 2017 draft pick suffer a season-ending Achilles injury.

Sunday’s victory over the Vikings was clouded by that news regarding Malik Hooker, and Parris Campbell  suffering a sprained PCL and MCL, which could sideline the speedy wideout for the remainder of the 2020 campaign. Frank Reich said on Monday that Campbell ‘will miss some time’ with the team still trying tying to figure out if he’ll need surgery.

Hooker joins fellow draftmate Marlon Mack as guys that have now torn their Achilles in contract years.

Late in Sunday’s first half, Hooker suffered the injury. After the team’s training staff examined an emotional Hooker on the bench, he slowly limped towards the locker room, knowing the most important season of his NFL career was likely over.

With Hooker out, the Colts used rookie safety Julian Blackmon—who was making his NFL debut 9 months removed from tearing his own ACL—in more than half of the defensive snaps against the Vikings.

Blackmon had two tackles and two passes defensed in his first NFL game, impressing head coach Frank Reich.

“He was all around the ball, all around the ball,” Reich said of the active safety. “From my eye watching the game, he played great. He made the one play on the Cover 2 down the middle – that looked like it’s going to be a big play for their offense, and he breaks it up, gets his head and hat on the ball. Those are the instincts that we saw on film. We know that that’s the player that he’s going to be. He just deserves so much credit. Number one, physically what he had to come back from. Number two, just mentally staying ready. He couldn’t practice for so long, and he wasn’t even able to participate in walk-thrus because of how we had him designated. A credit to him staying in it mentally. Then you could just tell the competitor in him showed up (Sunday) on game day.”

If the Colts feel Blackmon is ready, they could turn to their future starting safety duo (Blackmon and Khari Willis) right now. Other safety options on the roster include veteran Tavon Wilson, who started 13 games for the Lions last year and George Odum, who has 3 career starts with the Colts.

For Hooker, it’s yet another injury that has defined his NFL career. He’s battled notable injuries in all 4 of his NFL seasons (2017: torn ACL; 2018: hip and foot injuries; 2019: torn meniscus; 2020: torn Achilles) and that came after he entered the league coming off hernia surgery, following his one year of starting at Ohio State.

With Hooker’s season over, he will have missed 28 of a possible 64 games in the NFL.

Considering the Colts already declined Hooker’s fifth year option for the 2021 season—wanting to see better availability and consistency from their young safety—Sunday could very well have been the final snap for him in Indianapolis.

Similar to Hooker, Campbell’s injury history in the NFL is about as unfortunate as it can get, even though he hardly ever battled injuries in college.

In his 2019 rookie season, Campbell missed nearly all of the preseason and 9 regular season games due to a quartet of injuries: hamstring, hernia (surgery), hand (surgery), foot (surgery).

As the Colts awaited word on Campbell’s status following him getting hurt on the second play of the win over the Vikings, Reich expressed what the young wideout means to this team.

“No word yet, but man, it hurts,” the head coach said. “It happened right in front of me. It did not look good but hoping and praying for the best.”

With Campbell sidelined for an indefinite amount of time, the Colts have no instant plug-in replacement (like a Jonathan Taylor at running back or Julian Blackmon at safety).

Of these two injuries, the loss of Campbell—the only true slot wideout on the roster—will be the more difficult one to replace.

It’s likely to be a by committee approach in trying to make up for the Colts losing one of their most electric players.

Rock Ya-Sin Update: Reich added that Ya-Sin has been released from an area hospital, with a stomach illness. Reich said it’s too early to know if Ya-Sin will play this week. As of early Monday afternoon, Ya-Sin was not on the league’s COVID/reserve list.

Share

Related Articles

Loading...