INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Jack Doyle is eager to put an injury-plagued season behind him. He’s just not certain how quickly that might occur.
The Indianapolis Colts’ veteran tight end saw any hopes of building on a Pro Bowl season sabotaged by injuries. First, there was a hip injury in week 2 at Washington that forced him to miss five games. Next, a kidney injury in week 12 against Miami that resulted in two nights at Methodist Hospital and a trip to the season-ending injured reserve list.
As the Colts were cleaning out their lockers and autographing footballs for each other, Doyle met with the media for the first time since his kidney injury.
“I’m feeling pretty good,’’ he said Sunday.
Doyle wouldn’t offer a timeframe for a possible return to the practice field. The Colts’ offseason workout program begins in April.
“Just taking it slow at this point,’’ he said.
Doyle seemed to indicate he’s still in rehab mode from the hip and kidney issues.
“Just trying to get back and get as healthy as possible,’’ he said. “Have some other things (along with the kidney injury) to get checked on. We’ll go from there.
“I had my hip thing early in the year. Still getting that assessed and we’ll see where that’s at.’’
Doyle suffered the kidney injury in the fourth quarter of the 27-24 win over Miami Nov. 25. He ran a short route, turned and caught a 7-yard pass from Andrew Luck and immediately was wrapped up by safety T.J. McDonald. Linebackers Kiko Alonzo and Davon Godchaux converged and hit Doyle on his left side.
The following day, Frank Reich announced Doyle suffered a kidney injury that required a procedure to “control the injury.’’ Doyle was immediately admitted to the hospital.
At first, he didn’t believe anything out of the ordinary had occurred.
“When it initially happened it felt like I got the wind knocked out of me,’’ Doyle said.
He returned to the game for a few plays, but that didn’t last long.
“Just started feeling pretty crummy quickly after that,’’ Doyle said. “I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it was a kind of crazy night.
“But feeling a lot better now.’’
That sudden stop
Just like that, the Colts’ season was over. The 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff round brought an abrupt end to what had been a magical ride.
It took some time for that to sink in.
“It’s odd. It’s weird,’’ Luck said. “I remember talking to Jacoby (Brissett) on the plane ride back. He was like ‘How are you feeling.’ I was like, ‘I feel weird. I want a game. I want a week of practice to get better. I want a game and want a chance to prove ourselves as a team again.’
“But it’s the reality of the playoffs. It’s the reality of this game.’’
Added center Ryan Kelly: “I guess it hit me when I was driving to work today. My girlfriend asked me last night, ‘Is it weird being over?’ I was like, ‘It doesn’t feel like it’s over.’
“But today while I was driving here, it hit me. I didn’t really have anything to do. You go from being a football player every single day for so long, then it’s an abrupt stop and you don’t do it.’’
The Colts signed nine players to reserve/futures contracts: tight end Billy Brown, quarterback Phillip Walker, cornerback Jalen Collins, offensive tackles Antonio Garcia and De’Ondre Wesley, wide receivers Krishawn Hogan and Steve Ismael, defensive tackle DeShawn Williams and defensive end Anthony Winbush.