According to longtime Indianapolis Colts sports journalist Mike Chappell, who now covers the team for RTV6, two starters on offense in wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and right tackle Gosder Cherilus will not play this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Chappell is convinced that neither will be able to suit it up for Sunday. Having covered the Colts for 30 years, Chappell’s perspective should be taken quite seriously:
oDec 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) walks off the field with his left knee wrapped up after the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Houston 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Hilton and Cherilus have not practiced all week, and with Sunday’s game quickly approaching, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that they’ll be ready to go.
Hilton is still nursing a sore hamstring injury that he suffered in this past weekend’s game against the Houston Texans. While the MRI results came back clean earlier this week, it could cost him a week or two.
Meanwhile, Cherilus has been banged up all season, having battled various ailments. He played last weekend versus the Texans, but it’s possible that his listed groin injury has flared up once again.
In Hilton’s absence, one can reasonably expect both Hakeem Nicks and Donte Moncrief to assume a much larger role within the offense. Hilton has been the Colts #1 wideout all season, and it’ll be interesting to see who emerges as quarterback Andrew Luck‘s go-to guy in Hilton’s absence.
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The safe bet is on tight endCoby Fleener
, who has obvious built-up rapport with Luck dating back to their days at Stanford. However, Moncrief should provide some of Hilton’s big-play ability to help stretch the field. It comes against a matchup against the NFL’s 23rd worst secondary, as the Cowboys are averaging 249.6 passing ypg.
If Cherilus cannot go, things get a bit more interesting on the starting right tackle front. The primary back-up offensive tackle for the season, Joe Reitz, is doubtful to play as he’s still nursing a severe ankle injury and has not practiced all week. With Reitz seemingly out of the equation, it looks as though second-year tackle Xavier Nixon will get his 1st start of the season. The former 2013 undrafted free agent out of Florida University has appeared in six games for the Colts over the past two seasons, making one previous start last season.
In the meantime, Colts’ fans will just have to wait and see until the Colts release further injury updates.
UPDATE (12:45): Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has declared Gosder Cherilus officially “out” for Sunday, while T.Y. Hilton is listed as “questionable”. It’s worth noting that Hilton was able to work-out with Colts’ trainers today however.