INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The season – T.Y. Hilton’s eighth – is slipping away.
In fact, there’s a chance the Indianapolis Colts’ four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has stepped on the field for the last time in 2019.
A calf injury has forced Hilton to miss four of the last five games and most certainly will keep him out of Sunday’s road trip against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did not practice Wednesday.
“I’m still taking it day-by-day,’’ Hilton said. “The season’s up to the coach and the trainers. I’m still in the process of getting better.’’
Hilton wouldn’t rule out the calf eventually sending him to the injured reserve list.
“I’m doing everything I can to get back out there,’’ he said. “If I can, I can. If I can’t, then might just shut it down.
“But I’m doing everything I can.’’
It might not be enough. More than that, there might not be enough time for the calf injury to sufficiently heal or a reason to put Hilton back on the field. Only four games remain. Also, the Colts’ once-vibrant playoff hopes have dramatically ebbed as they’ve lost four of their last five games.
Injuries have impacted the team’s drive for consecutive playoff appearances, and that’s been especially true with Hilton. Prior to suffering the calf injury during an Oct. 30 practice, he missed two games with a quadriceps injury.
He’ll now miss at least six games. In his first seven seasons, Hilton missed just four games.
“Terrible, man,’’ Hilton said. “Can’t even speak of it. Just terrible.’’
The calf injury kept him out of three games, then he returned for the Nov. 21 game at Houston. He lacked his normal high-end speed and experienced tightness in the calf, finishing with just three catches for 18 yards.
However, Hilton aggravated the injury during the subsequent Wednesday practice.
“Just couldn’t get it right,’’ he said. “Made matters worse. It is what it is.’’
However the final month plays out, Hilton said he will not require surgery to repair the calf injury.
If he’s played his last down this season, it will be the least productive of Hilton’s career: 35 receptions, 378 yards, five TDs.
Other injury matters
Running back Marlon Mack returned to practice Wednesday. He’s missed the last two games after fracturing his right hand Nov. 17 against Jacksonville. Mack wore a white glove on his right hand for some level of protection.
Frank Reich admitted there’s a chance Mack plays at Tampa Bay.
Also, rookie wideout Parris Campbell (fractured right hand) practiced and appears to be on track to return against the Bucs. He’s missed the last four games.
Cornerback Kenny Moore II (ankle) did not practice.
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