According to head coach Frank Reich, the Colts are going to be using the third-year running back a lot in the passing game in 2020.
Nyheim Hines has been more of a receiving threat back since he came into the league in 2018. He has been that because he is extremely speedy and shifty and has very soft hands. Reich apparently loves that aspect of his game and wants to use it more this season.
Hines is rarely used as a running threat. Even with how shifty he is, the Colts usually use Marlon Mack or Jordan Wilkins as the primary runners. Those duties will likely be shared between Mack and Jonathan Taylor now. That means Wilkins is the odd man out.
That also means that Hines will only get playing time if he is useful as a receiver. Reich recently said that he could see Hines catching 10 passes a game. He was probably exaggerating because that’s an absurd amount of passes for anyone to catch in a single game, but you get the point.
If Hines is going to be effective as a receiver, the other receivers have to do their job first. T.Y. Hilton has to be a deep threat down the field. Michael Pittman Jr. has to be a good possession guy. Parris Campbell has to be a hybrid of both as well.
Everyone already knows that Hines isn’t a threat to run the ball when he is in the game. Because of that, they have to make sure that defenses can’t key in on Hines when he is on the field. That’s why the other receivers have to do their job. They have to keep the pressure off of him.
This is Hines’ best chance to be a real threat somewhere other than special teams for the Colts. As long as he can keep himself from fumbling the ball, he can be a real threat in this offense.