INDIANAPOLIS – It’s the harsh reality of Week 17 in the NFL for teams that have uncertain playoff hopes.
Sunday could very well be the last home game (or even game) in the tremendous Colt career of T.Y. Hilton.
Now, a lot of things can change that—the Colts winning plus getting help to make the playoffs and/or the team re-signing Hilton this coming offseason—but the existence is certainly there for one of the greatest players this franchise has seen in the Indianapolis era.
It should be stated though that I don’t think Sunday will be Hilton’s last game as a Colt. And it shouldn’t be.
For one, I think the Colts will (or should I say ‘better’) beat the Jaguars AND get the necessary help to make the postseason in 2020.
And, speaking specifically on Hilton, I think the Colts need to re-sign the 31-year-old wideout to one final contract, somewhere around the two-year range.
Lately, Frank Reich has not been afraid to heap praise towards Hilton, on and off the field, despite this being one of the quieter production seasons the wideout has had in Indianapolis. Hilton is on pace for 787 receiving yards this year (in 15 games total). The 52.5 receiving yards per game and 3.8 receptions per game are the second lowest marks of his 9-year career.
Without an emerging No. 1 wideout though ready to take that torch from Hilton, the Colts would be wise to re-sign him, unless they can lure a big-time free agent to Indianapolis.
Putting that debate aside, Hilton has been one of the franchise’s best players of recent memory, particularly when you factor in where he was drafted.
Hilton was taken 92nd overall (Round 3) in the 2012 Draft. He’s had 5 1,00-yard seasons and is a 4-time Pro Bowler, including leading the NFL in receiving in 2016.
At 9,333 receiving yards, Hilton is 3rd in Colts franchise history (Marvin Harrison-14,580, Reggie Wayne-14,345).
Along with Hilton, here are the Colts other notable 2021 free agents who could be playing their final game in Indy on Sunday:
RB-Marlon Mack (injured)
S-Malik Hooker (injured)