Reich: We expect a great year from Malik Hooker

Sports

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 22: Malik Hooker #29 of the Indianapolis Colts against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts had the option to extend safety Malik Hooker’s contract one more year this offseason. They declined it. The franchise also drafted a safety in the third round in Julian Blackmon out of Utah.

How Hooker reacts to those moves will determine his fate with the Colts beyond 2020.

“I think Malik (Hooker) is going to handle it really well,” says head coach Frank Reich. “I think Malik has been on this trajectory where it – for the time that we’ve been here as a staff – just keeps getting better. I think physically, in the scheme and everything, he’s coming into his own.”

Hooker started 13 games for the Colts in 2019, recording 51 total tackles with two interceptions. Injuries have hampered the 2017 first round pick’s first three NFL seasons, as he’s only played in 34 games over those three years.

“I do like to show the guys respect,” continues Reich, “and say, ‘Hey, it is what it is. We all know this is the NFL. You have to earn it every day here.’ Guys aren’t surprised when a contract situation comes like it did with Malik’s situation. So you just have to go out and have a great year. We expect him to do that.”

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