INDIANAPOLIS – There’s a chance T.Y. Hilton returns for Thursday night’s AFC South meeting with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, but things aren’t as encouraging for another key component in the Indianapolis Colts’ offense.
Tight end Jack Doyle probably will miss the game after sustaining a concussion in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore. He’s in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and the short turnaround makes it virtually impossible to go through the necessary phases.
“It’s probably going to be tough for him to get cleared, but we’ll take it day-to-day,’’ coach Frank Reich said Monday on a Zoom conference call. “Probably not counting on him for this Thursday.’’
Doyle’s situation is identical to one involving Andrew Luck in 2016. Luck suffered a concussion in week 11 against Tennessee. The Colts’ next game was a Thursday night home game with Pittsburgh, and the short week made it impossible for him to gain medical clearance.
Doyle is in the midst of a quiet statistical season – nine catches, 108 yards, two TDs – but almost always has been a factor in 13 appearances against the Titans, who signed the Cathedral H.S. product as an undrafted rookie in 2013. In fact, he has more targets (59), catches (45), yards (429) and TDs (four) against Tennessee than any other opponent.
The concussion occurred in the second quarter when Baltimore safety DeShon Elliott delivered a blow to Doyle following an incomplete pass. No penalty flag was thrown even though Doyle appeared to be a defenseless player and Elliott’s hit was in the area of Doyle’s neck and head.
Doyle also suffered a concussion in 2017 in a week 4 game against Seattle that forced him to miss the next game.
There’s a chance Hilton returns after missing the Baltimore game with a groin injury. The Colts’ preparation for the Titans will consist of two walk-through sessions, so the team will evaluate his progress through his work with the training/rehab staff.
“We’ll monitor his status and see if he continues to improve,’’ Reich said.
The team also will monitor the progress of Kemoko Turay. The third-year defensive end remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list but has returned to practice.
About that tackle attempt
In a better situation – a Colts’ victory over Baltimore – the ribbing would have been severe.
As it was – a Colts’ loss to the Ravens – there still was in-coming friendly fire for Philip Rivers to deal with.
“Yeah, we had a couple of good laughs,’’ he said. “Shoot, I can laugh at it as well. Probably not as many had we won the game. It would have been a little funnier, I guess.’’
The subject was Rivers’ futile tackle attempt as Ravens’ safety Chuck Clark scooped up a first-quarter fumble by Jonathan Taylor and headed up field for what would be a 65-yard touchdown.
As Rivers retreated and attempted to get in position to make a tackle, he tripped at – or over – the 35-yard line. To add insult to injury, Clark hurdled a prone Rivers en route to the end zone.
“Makes it a little hard sell to tell you that 20 years ago I was a heckuva free safety after you watch that clip, that’s for sure,’’ Rivers said. “It’s funny, but not funny because I’m still aggravated I didn’t find a way to get him down and make them snap it again. You can find a way to laugh at it just because of the lack of athletic display down on that particular play.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.