INDIANAPOLIS – A hamstring injury will impede training camp for T.Y. Hilton.
The Indianapolis Colts’ four-time Pro Bowl receiver has been placed on the Active/non-football injury list after recently sustaining a mild hamstring injury while working out on his own. Hilton can be added to the active roster as soon the injury is healed.
The move is minor in the grand scheme of things. While players have reported to the Farm Bureau Football Center for the start of camp, the early phase is reserved for strength and conditioning. Full-team work in pads isn’t allowed until mid-August.
However, until Hilton has been cleared, he will miss any opportunity to work with quarterback Philip Rivers. And that shouldn’t be casually dismissed.
As offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni emphasized during the summer, the Colts’ passing game will continue to run through Hilton. Even though he and Rivers have combined to appear in 346 regular-season games, they’ve yet to be teammates in a competitive situation.
Timing and trust are key between a quarterback and receiver, and that starts on the practice field. Hilton and Rivers were able to begin developing their working relationship during the virtual offseason, and it’s believed they shared a few throwing sessions.
“I mean whenever we can, whenever we get the change to get out there and get some timing down,’’ Hilton said of working with Rivers. “We talk almost every day on Zoom or whenever me and him talk on the phone. He calls me up; just him getting to know me, me getting to know him, asking those personal questions about one another.
“So that’s about it. Until we get on the field, we’re just catching up with one another and seeing what we like.’’
It’s understandable the injury raises red flags with Hilton.
After missing two games in his first six seasons, the 2012 third-round draft pick has missed a total of eight the last two seasons. He missed two games in ’18 but played through a severely sprained ankle, then was sidelined for six games last season – first with a quadriceps injury, then after tearing a calf muscle during practice.
It must be remembered Hilton, 30, is entering the final year of his contract. And he wants one final extension.
“I mean, I want to be a Colt for life, but it takes two sides,’’ he said. “It is up to Mr. Irsay and Chris (Ballard). So for me, I want to be a Colt. So, you heard it from me.’’
Hilton added his next contract will be his last contract.
Along with placing Hilton on the NFI list, the team released running back Darius Jackson and waived wideout Rodney Adams, defensive end Jegs Jegede, offensive tackles Cedrick Lang and Travis Vornkahl, cornerback Picasso Nelson Jr. and linebacker Brandon Wellington.
That reduces the camp roster to 80.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.