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
The Indianapolis Colts have officially declared wide receiver T.Y. Hilton inactive for this Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. It’s not really surprising, as Hilton was reported as unlikely to play earlier this week. The 3rd-year wide receiver injured his hamstring last weekend against the Houston Texans. While the MRI results came back clean, the Colts are likely taking a cautious approach with the playoffs in mind, as they already have clinched the AFC South and are unlikely to obtain a first round bye at this juncture.
It comes as a significant blow to the Colts offense, as Hilton is the team’s leader in receptions and receiving yards with 82 catches for 1,345 receiving yards on the season.
In his absence, wide receivers Donte Moncrief and Hakeem Nicks will likely assume a larger role within the offense. Fans can also expect to see a heavier usage of the team’s tight ends in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Particularly, the offense could feature Fleener more aligned on the outside as a wide receiver, rather than “in-tight” as a more traditional tight end to help make up for the loss of Hilton.
Losing Hilton will surely be felt against a Dallas Cowboys secondary that ranks as the 23rd worst against the pass at 249.6 passing yards allowed per game. He was in-line to have a pretty productive afternoon for himself.
Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray will be active for this Sunday’s game against the Colts. Murray leads the league with rushing yards at 1,687 yards, as well as carries with 351. He’ll be wearing a protective pad on his surgically-repaired hand.
According to NFL Insider Jay Glazer, Murray will be a bit limited in the Cowboys’ pass blocking and receiving game. Colts’ fans can expect to see more of Cowboys running backs Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle in pass situations. However, Murray figures to at least get a fair amount of rushing attempts even with his hand injury: