It’s been a dark few weeks for wide receiver T.Y. Hilton following his neck surgery, and while he’s practicing again this week the torture of watching his team from the sidelines might not be over.
Asked whether he plans to play Sunday against the Houston Texans, Hilton said, “I mean I have to practice. That’s up to the docs. I’ve got to get my legs back under me. I’ve got to pass some tests. So, just cause I’m practicing doesn’t mean I’m playing. I’m just out there giving this team the boost that we need.”
This would be a very appropriate week for Hilton’s return as he has historically torched the Texans since being drafted in 2012. Over 18 games against the division rival, Hilton has 97 catches for 1,728 yards, good for 18.5% of his career yardage total.
Hilton related how difficult the surgery and rehab have been to get to this point, “I woke up Week 1 and I was there mentally, but physically I wasn’t. I just woke up crying – just nothing physically I could do to be out there. As an athlete, just playing this game, it’s just something your body feels like on gameday.
“Only athletes will understand what I’m saying,” Hilton said. “But it’s just crazy. It hurt me, it hurt me a lot not being able to be out there, especially for these five weeks that I missed. It was tough. Monday through Saturday, I’m good, just continue to constantly rehab, and Sunday just watching my team go out there without me, it just hurt. It hurt me a lot. It took a toll on me.”
Different is good when your team is 1-4, so T.Y. Hilton being back on the practice field changes the energy in Indianapolis after a horrifying final quarter and overtime in Baltimore Monday night.
Fans hope to see “The Ghost” disappearing into the ether against the Texans only to show up with the football 45-yards downfield this Sunday – just like they have 97 times before.
With so little to smile about after the first five games on the 2021 season, Hilton and Colts fans are eager look ahead toward Sunday and believe the dark days are finally over.
The promise of Hilton’s return will do, even if he isn’t able to go Sunday.