Colts WR-T.Y. Hilton looks on from the bench.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 15: T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts on the sidelines in the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Colts Monday Notebook: T.Y. Hilton Return Remains On Hold

INDIANAPOLIS – As the Colts head into Week Four, they are one of five teams looking for their first win of the season.

Frank Reich had his team in the building on Monday to recap the 25-16 loss to the Titans (1-2) and clean up things before Wednesday’s return to practice.

Here are some takeaways from Monday’s film session for the Colts (0-3):

  • With Week 4 here, WR-T.Y. Hilton (neck) is eligible to come off the IR list, but that move is not imminent. “T.Y. is making great progress,” Frank Reich said on Monday. “I’ve talked with him and seen him out there doing his rehab and I’m encouraged with what I’ve seen. I don’t think we are quite there yet with him (in bringing him off the IR list).”
  • Frank Reich and the Colts are 0-3 for the first time in a decade. It’s the first time Reich has been at the helm of a winless team entering Week 4. “We have to keep fighting, scratching and clawing,” the fourth-year head coach said on Monday. “We have to own 0-3. That starts with me as the head coach. I’m 0-3 as a head coach this year. I have to own that. But we can’t let that deter our confidence and vision of where we want to go. This isn’t pie in the sky ignore the reality of where we are or we haven’t been good enough. We just keep focused on executing, each one of us doing our job, coaches and players together. I have a lot of confidence on where we can go with that. We believe it’s still very early. We made it difficult for ourselves but there’s plenty of season left to prove who we are as an offense.”
  • Despite a slight aggravation of his injured right ankle on the final drive in Sunday’s loss to the Titans, Carson Wentz appeared to come out of the Titans game in fine shape to play this week against the Dolphins. Frank Reich said the hope is for Wentz to advance his work by one day this week. That means trying to practice on Thursday, after his lone day on the field last week was Friday. “I think we are definitely ahead of where we were last week,” Reich said of Wentz. “The goal is to be one day better than we were last week…In the mean time, there’s no excuses. I don’t want to make this sound like, ‘He’s at whatever percent he is.’ Trust me, there’s no excuses and no explanations. When he’s on the field, he’s expected to play winning football. And our staff is expected is to put him into position to play winning football.” Wentz was hit 10 times on Sunday and has now been hit 31 times through three weeks. Reich believes that Wentz’s health should continue to improve and hopefully get back to 100 percent in a couple of weeks.
  • The Colts have gone back on their stance as QB-Jacob Eason being the backup to QB-Carson Wentz. In Week 3, QB-Brett Hundley was the team’s backup. Frank Reich said it was Hundley’s experience that had him backing up a banged-up Wentz against the Titans. “We talked to each guy one-on-one, what I said to Jacob was, ‘Jacob, you are on the right track, you are doing the right thing. This is not about you. This is about Brett’s experience. He’s started 9 games. He’s led two fourth-quarter game-winning drives. He’s experienced and a very poised young man. We are going on the road playing a divisional game in a very difficult environment,’” Reich explained. “If Carson wouldn’t play, we just felt that would be the best option for us.” When asked why Hundley wasn’t the backup in Week 1 or Week 2, Reich offered this: “Because I felt Carson wasn’t 100 percent…having time to think it through and the reality that Carson might not be in this game and we are going on the road, and the challenges of that, playing a divisional moment, I guess given the moment is the answer more than anything.” Reich said the decision for Wentz’s backup remains something that the Colts will decide later this week. Rookie QB-Sam Ehlinger (knee) is eligible to come off IR list this week, so he’s a name to watch at quarterback.
  • Does Reich have any regrets about the Colts not getting a veteran QB earlier this past offseason? “Fair question,” Reich said on Monday. “It’s something Chris (Ballard) and I talked through a lot and it’s something we are comfortable with what we decided with at the start of the year. We were going to give (the young QBs) every opportunity. We had two young guys that we drafted (Eason and Ehlinger) that we wanted to give a lot of reps. If we had gone out and got a vet, that would have limited that. It would have been harder to see what we had in the two guys we drafted. We like those guys. And we think they have some talent and some upside.”
  • Along with OT-Braden Smith (foot, thumb), the Colts will be monitoring these injuries this week, with all 4 guys getting hurt in Sunday’s loss to the Titans: LG-Quenton Nelson (sprained ankle), DE-Kwity Paye (hamstring), S-Khari Willis (groin) and CB-Rock Ya-Sin (ankle).
  • The Colts will have an off day on Tuesday, before returning to practice on Wednesday, with a road trip in Miami coming in Week 4.

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