Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Colts activate WR T.Y. Hilton, put K Rodrigo Blankenship on IR

The Indianapolis Colts activated wide receiver T.Y. Hilton from injured reserve on Saturday, one day ahead of the team’s game against the visiting Houston Texans.

The Colts also elevated kicker Michael Badgley and safety Jordan Lucas to the active roster from the practice squad and placed kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (hip) on injured reserve.

Hilton, 31, was put on injured reserve in early September after undergoing neck surgery and has yet to play this season.

The Colts (1-4) re-signed Hilton in the offseason, but he had been slowed during training camp with the issue. Hilton has 608 catches for 9,360 yards and 50 touchdowns in nine seasons, all with the Colts. He made the Pro Bowl four straight years from 2014-17.

Badgley, 26, began this season with the Tennessee Titans. He missed his only field goal attempt (from 46 yards) and one of two PATs in a Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Badgley spent the previous three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Colts blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter in Monday night’s overtime loss at the Baltimore Ravens, in part because Blankenship missed an extra point and two field goals, the last of which would have won the game for Indy in the final seconds.

Lucas, 28, recorded 47 tackles and one interception in 49 career games (four starts) with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Colts, Texans get healthier while hurting for wins

Following a gut-wrenching loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night during which Indianapolis blew a 19-point, third-quarter lead, the Colts were in the market for good news.

They received a dose when four-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton returned to the practice field for the first time since late August on Wednesday. The Colts have three weeks to activate Hilton, who underwent neck surgery just prior to the start of the regular season, from injured reserve.

Hilton, a third-round pick by the Colts in 2012, could see action when Indianapolis (1-4) hosts the Houston Texans (1-4) on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Obviously it was great news on T.Y. from Tuesday when I got to that medical meeting that he was ahead of schedule, so he’ll be out there this week,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “We’ll determine his status as the week goes on, but certainly excited to have T.Y. back in the fold and out on the field.”

It would mark a timely return for Hilton, who has amassed more receptions (97), yards (1,718) and touchdowns (11) against the Texans than any other team.

“Obviously it’s a big, emotional boost to the team and obviously it’s Houston week,” Reich said with a grin. “So probably not a coincidence.”

The Colts’ 31-25 overtime loss at Baltimore was their second by one score this season following their 27-24 setback to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2. While the slow start to the season has proven disappointing, the Colts are just two games behind the first-place Tennessee Titans in the AFC South and have the experience of the 2018 season to draw from, a campaign that concluded with the Colts in the playoffs after winning 9 of 10 games following their 1-5 start.

“We have a more mature team,” Reich said. “I think our roster is strong so I really believe we just have to pull together week by week. We’ve done this before, we can certainly draw from that.

“Everybody talks about 1-0 but when you’re 1-4 it means a little something more. So we have to draw on that.”

The Texans tasted defeat in a manner similar to the Colts last week, coughing up a 13-point, third-quarter advantage to the New England Patriots before falling 25-22 at the final whistle.

And like Indianapolis, the Texans received a boost on offense with the return of rookie receiver Nico Collins (shoulder) and veteran receiver Danny Amendola (thigh). Both are trending in a positive direction and will be monitored this week to determine their availability on Sunday.

However, two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil will have left thumb surgery on Thursday and miss a minimum of four weeks. Geron Christian is now tasked with plugging the gap and protecting the blind side of Houston rookie quarterback Davis Mills.

“Geron is going to go right at that position and we feel good about that,” Texans coach David Culley said. “He knows he’s been the backup; he’s actually backed up both sides. He’ll be on the left side and Charlie (Heck) will be on the right side.

“In this league, the next man up has got to go and he’s the next man up.”

The Texans noted midweek that Tyrod Taylor, who opened the 2021 season as the starting quarterback, is progressing from a hamstring injury and could be nearing a return to the No. 1 role.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

T.Y. Hilton returns to practice as Colts audition kickers

The Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday designated wide receiver T.Y. Hilton for return from injured reserve and auditioned kickers in the aftermath of a brutal loss Monday night.

Hilton was put on IR in early September after undergoing neck surgery and has yet to play this season. The Colts have a three-week window to activate Hilton to the 53-man roster.

“Certainly excited to have T.Y. back in the fold and out on the field,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “Obviously that’s a big, emotional boost to the team.”

The Colts re-signed Hilton in the offseason, but he had been slowed during training camp with the issue. Hilton has 608 catches for 9,360 yards and 50 touchdowns in nine seasons, all with the Colts. He made the Pro Bowl four straight years from 2014-17.

The Colts also worked out kickers Wednesday, including free agents Brett Maher, Mike Badgley, Aldrick Rosas and Riley Patterson, according to NFL Network.

The Colts blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter in Monday night’s overtime loss at the Baltimore Ravens, in part because kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed an extra point and two field goals, the last of which would have won the game for Indy in the final seconds.

Blankenship is dealing with a hip ailment that affected his kicking and could put him in jeopardy for this week’s game against the visiting Houston Texans (1-4).

Linebacker Jordan Glasgow will also return to practice this week. The Colts (1-4) placed him on IR after Week 2 with a concussion.

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) passes the ball under pressure from Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens erase 19-point deficit, top Colts in OT

Lamar Jackson tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown on the first possession of overtime as the Baltimore Ravens recovered from a 19-point, third-quarter deficit to record a 31-25 victory over the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

Jackson completed 37 of 43 passes for a career-high 442 yards and tossed four touchdown passes, including the winner to Brown with 5:24 left in the extra session.

Mark Andrews caught 11 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns while Brown had nine receptions for 125 yards and two scores for Baltimore (4-1).

Rodrigo Blankenship was wide left on a 47-yard field-goal attempt as time expired in regulation for Indianapolis (1-4).

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz completed 25 of 35 passes for a career-high 402 yards and two touchdowns.

Jonathan Taylor scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) and accounted for 169 yards (career-best 116 receiving, 53 rushing). Michael Pittman Jr. had six receptions for 89 yards and one score for Indianapolis.

The Ravens rushed for 86 yards, ending their NFL-record-tying, 43-game streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games. The Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-77) also share the mark.

The teams combined for 1,036 yards — 523 for Baltimore and 513 for the Colts.

The Ravens began their climb from a 22-3 hole when Jackson threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Brown with 56 seconds left in the third quarter. Jackson’s two-point conversion run was short.

Blankenship kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Colts a 25-9 lead with 12 minutes remaining. Jackson subsequently tossed a 5-yard scoring pass to Andrews, and the two also combined for a two-point conversion as the Ravens moved within eight with 9:38 left.

Blankenship’s 37-yard field-goal try was blocked by Calais Campbell with 4:29 left, and the Ravens capitalized. Jackson and Andrews teamed up on a 4-yard touchdown and the ensuing two-point conversion to knot the score at 25 with 39 seconds left.

The Colts led 10-3 at halftime and increased the margin to 13 on Wentz’s 42-yard scoring pass to Pittman just 61 seconds into the third quarter. Blankenship’s extra-point attempt was wide to the left.

Taylor scored on a 4-yard run to make it 22-3 with 3:06 left in the third. A two-point conversion attempt failed.

Earlier, the Colts got on the board just 2:01 into the contest as Taylor caught a pass from Wentz in the left flat and exploded down the field for the career-best, 76-yard score.

After the teams traded field goals — Justin Tucker’s 23-yarder with 1:36 left in the second quarter and Blankenship’s 37-yard field goal as time expired — Indianapolis held a seven-point halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens heavily-backed as TD favorite against visiting Colts

The Baltimore Ravens are always bullish on running the football. Now a record is on the line when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

The Ravens (3-1) are looking to rush for at least 100 yards for the 44th consecutive game. They are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-77), a team that featured future Hall of Famer Franco Harris as the star back.

Baltimore is a 7.0-point favorite at most sportsbooks, with DraftKings reporting 82 percent of the money and 73 percent of the spread-line bets were backing the Ravens mid-day Monday. The spread-line bets were also lopsided toward the Ravens at 65 percent at PointsBet, but 69 percent of the money was placed on the Colts +7.0.

AI-driven predictive sports analytics provider Quarter4 has Baltimore with an 85 percent win probability.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is the leader of Baltimore’s third-ranked ground game (164.5 yards per game), and it was his 5-yard gain on the final play of last weekend’s 23-7 win over Denver that pushed the team rushing total to 102. It tied the record but drew the ire of Broncos coach Vic Fangio, who sharply criticized the Ravens.

Jackson said he didn’t know there was such a record until a couple days prior to playing the Broncos.

“I’m not looking up the records and saying, ‘Dang, what record should we break this week?’” Jackson told reporters, adding a chuckle. “It just happened to happen. We’ve been working hard. We’re trying to get yards on the field, trying to score touchdowns, and we end up breaking records doing that.”

Jackson made it clear the record will be on his mind against the Colts (1-3).

“It would mean a lot, because we’ve been doing it ever since I’ve been (the starter),” said Jackson, a first-round draft choice in 2018 who made his first career start in Game 1 of the streak.

Jackson has rushed for a team-high 279 yards but veteran defensive end Calais Campbell was more impressed with Jackson’s arm than his legs against Denver.

Jackson passed for 316 yards, just the second time in the regular season and third time overall that he has topped 300.

“It’s important to be able to win multiple ways and [with] whatever is required,” Campbell told reporters. “We know if we have to throw the ball for 300 yards, we can. If teams are going to stack the box and make it hard on us to run, which is good football, we know that Lamar can get the job done.”

Indianapolis picked up its first win of the season by posting a 27-17 road win over the Miami Dolphins last weekend.

Quarterback Carson Wentz had an efficient outing by completing 24 of 32 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He also didn’t throw an interception and has been picked off just once this season after tossing a career-worst 15 (tied for most in the NFL) in 12 games for the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

“I’m never trying to force anything,” Wentz said of avoiding miscues. “Trying to make a big play when it’s there. But otherwise, play smart and keep moving the chains.”

Colts coach Frank Reich said that the way Wentz is taking care of the ball will allow the team to seek out big plays later in the season.

“He’s playing the position in a good manner,” Reich said. “Now it’s just a question of continuing to make the plays we know he’s capable of making, plays that are big plays in games.

“Now you gotta pick the pace up on that without giving back too much on the other side. Because it’s always a risk/reward — you take chances making plays and it’s always a chance that you’re putting things at risk.”

The Over/Under was installed at 48 points at PointsBet, where the market had moved to 46.5 by Monday with the Over being backed by 64 percent of the bets and 54 percent of the money. The Over was also being supported by 58 percent of the bets and 56 percent of the money at DraftKings, where the market was at 46.0 points.

Colts defensive ends Kwity Paye (hamstring) and Isaac Rochell (illness) will miss Monday night’s game, as will offensive tackle Braden Smith (foot/thumb). Star linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle) returned to practice Friday and was not listed on the final injury report, same as running back Nyheim Hines (shoulder).

Baltimore offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) will miss his fourth consecutive game, but at least backup Alejandro Villanueva (knee) was upgraded to questionable on Saturday.

Also questionable are safeties Gene Stone (thigh) and DeShon Elliott (quadriceps).

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) carries the ball in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens run toward record, host Colts on MNF

The Baltimore Ravens are always bullish on running the football. Now a record is on the line when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

The Ravens (3-1) are looking to rush for at least 100 yards for the 44th consecutive game. They are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-77), a team that featured future Hall of Famer Franco Harris as the star back.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is the leader of Baltimore’s third-ranked ground game (164.5 yards per game), and it was his 5-yard gain on the final play of last weekend’s 23-7 win over Denver that pushed the team rushing total to 102. It tied the record but drew the ire of Broncos coach Vic Fangio, who sharply criticized the Ravens.

Jackson said he didn’t know there was such a record until a couple days prior to playing the Broncos.

“I’m not looking up the records and saying, ‘Dang, what record should we break this week?’” Jackson told reporters, adding a chuckle. “It just happened to happen. We’ve been working hard. We’re trying to get yards on the field, trying to score touchdowns, and we end up breaking records doing that.”

Jackson made it clear the record will be on his mind against the Colts (1-3).

“It would mean a lot, because we’ve been doing it ever since I’ve been (the starter),” said Jackson, a first-round draft choice in 2018 who made his first career start in Game 1 of the streak.

Jackson has rushed for a team-high 279 yards but veteran defensive end Calais Campbell was more impressed with Jackson’s arm than his legs against Denver.

Jackson passed for 316 yards, just the second time in the regular season and third time overall that he has topped 300.

“It’s important to be able to win multiple ways and [with] whatever is required,” Campbell told reporters. “We know if we have to throw the ball for 300 yards, we can. If teams are going to stack the box and make it hard on us to run, which is good football, we know that Lamar can get the job done.”

Indianapolis picked up its first win of the season by posting a 27-17 road win over the Miami Dolphins last weekend.

Quarterback Carson Wentz had an efficient outing by completing 24 of 32 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He also didn’t throw an interception and has been picked off just once this season after tossing a career-worst 15 (tied for most in the NFL) in 12 games for the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

“I’m never trying to force anything,” Wentz said of avoiding miscues. “Trying to make a big play when it’s there. But otherwise, play smart and keep moving the chains.”

Colts coach Frank Reich said that the way Wentz is taking care of the ball will allow the team to seek out big plays later in the season.

“He’s playing the position in a good manner,” Reich said. “Now it’s just a question of continuing to make the plays we know he’s capable of making, plays that are big plays in games.

“Now you gotta pick the pace up on that without giving back too much on the other side. Because it’s always a risk/reward — you take chances making plays and it’s always a chance that you’re putting things at risk.”

Indianapolis star linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle) was one of four players who sat out practice on Thursday. The others were running back Nyheim Hines (shoulder), defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring) and offensive tackle Braden Smith (foot, thumb).

Baltimore offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and Alejandro Villanueva (knee) both missed practice. Villanueva was injured against the Broncos while Stanley has missed the past three games.

Safety Geno Stone (thigh) was the only other Raven to sit out Thursday’s practice due to injury; safety DeShon Elliott (quadriceps) was a limited participant. Wideout Rashod Bateman (groin), a first-round draft pick this year, could be activated off injured reserve to make his NFL debut.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Wentz leads Colts over Dolphins

Carson Wentz passed for 228 yards and two touchdowns, breaking his personal seven-game losing streak and leading his Indianapolis Colts to a 27-17 win over the host Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.

Tight end Mo Alie-Cox caught both of Wentz’s touchdown passes and Jonathan Taylor added 103 rushing yards and one touchdown for the Colts (1-3).

Miami (1-3) lost its third straight game.

Wentz, playing with two injured ankles, won his first start since Nov. 1, 2020, when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett, starting in place of injured Tua Tagovailoa for the second straight week, passed for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He lost one fumble.

Both of Brissett’s TD passes came in the final quarter and on fourth down.

Miami had the only first-quarter score on Jason Sanders’ 38-yard field goal. That was set up by Nyheim Hines’ fumble on a punt return, recovered by long snapper Blake Ferguson.

The Colts, who gained just 4 yards in the first quarter, took a 7-3 lead with 2:47 left in the second on Taylor’s 23-yard run toward the left pylon. That capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive that had nearly stopped. However, the Colts — after punting from their own 40 — got a first down when Miami was called offsides.

Miami had minus-7 yards in the second quarter.

The Colts took the second-half kickoff and drove 84 yards in 11 plays, scoring on third-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Wentz rolled to his right and hit Alie-Cox, who was wide open for a 14-3 lead.

Indianapolis then seized on two Dolphins mistakes: a punt return fumble by Jakeem Grant recovered by Ashton Dulin and a Brissett strip-sack fumble forced by defensive tackle Grover Stewart and recovered by linebacker Darius Leonard.

That led to a pair of Rodrigo Blankenship field goals (34 and 43 yards) and a 20-3 Colts lead with 13:22 left in the fourth.

Miami scored on Brissett’s fourth-and-goal 1-yard pass to tight end Mike Gesicki, cutting the Dolphins’ deficit to 20-10 with 10:40 left. Gesicki, playing on his 26th birthday, caught the ball as he stumbled into the end zone.

But the Colts answered with Wentz’s 11-yard TD pass to Alie-Cox, who hauled down a high throw on third-and-goal for a 27-10 lead with 6:15 left.

Miami closed the scoring with Brissett’s 3-yard TD pass to DeVante Parker with 4:24 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Quenton Nelson (56) leaves the field at half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Colts place G Quenton Nelson (ankle) on IR

The Indianapolis Colts placed three-time Pro Bowl left guard Quenton Nelson on injured reserve Saturday.

Nelson is nursing an ankle injury and will miss at least the next three games.

Nelson, 25, will see his streak of consecutive starts come to a halt on Sunday against the host Miami Dolphins (1-2). He started 51 consecutive games to begin his career after being taken by the Colts with the sixth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Also on Saturday, Indianapolis (0-3) elevated safety Ibraheim Campbell and quarterback Brett Hundley to the active roster from the practice squad.

Campbell, 29, has recorded 116 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 58 career games with the Cleveland Browns (2015-17), Houston Texans (2017), Dallas Cowboys (2018), New York Jets (2018), Green Bay Packers (2018-19) and Colts.

Hundley, 28, has thrown for 1,902 yards with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 18 career games with the Packers (2016-17) and Arizona Cardinals (2019).

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson (56) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Colts OG Quenton Nelson ruled out vs. Dolphins

Indianapolis Colts left guard Quenton Nelson will see his streak of consecutive starts come to a halt on Sunday against the host Miami Dolphins.

Nelson, 25, is nursing an ankle injury and has been ruled out for the contest. The three-time Pro Bowl selection started 51 consecutive games to begin his career after being taken by the Colts with the sixth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring), safety Khari Willis (groin) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle) also have been ruled out Sunday’s game for the Colts (0-3). All three sustained their injuries during Indianapolis’ 25-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Right tackle Braden Smith (foot/thumb) will also miss Sunday’s contest against the Dolphins (1-2). He was injured in the Colts’ season-opening 28-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 12.

–Field Level Media

Carson Wentz hands off to running back Jonathan Taylor during second half action on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

Indianapolis Colts And Tennessee Titans At Nissan Stadium In Nashville Tenn Sunday Sept 16 2021 In Nfl Week 3

Seven starters miss practice for Colts, with Carson Wentz limited

Seven of the Indianapolis Colts’ 22 starters did not practice Thursday, three days out from their road contest at the Miami Dolphins.

Quarterback Carson Wentz, however, was able to practice on a limited basis for the second straight day as he deals with two sprained ankles.

Tight end Jack Doyle (back), All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson (ankle/knee) and right tackle Braden Smith (foot/thumb) missed practice for the second straight day on offense. Three more on defense have now missed two in a row: rookie defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring), safety Khari Willis (ankle/groin) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle).

Right guard Mark Glowinski (knee) went from limited participation in Wednesday’s practice to being held out of Thursday’s, meaning there’s danger that Indianapolis could be down three of its starting offensive linemen come Sunday.

It wasn’t all dire news for the Colts. Left tackle Eric Fisher was back to full participation after a rest day Wednesday, and Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis. Running back Jonathan Taylor (knee) remained limited for the second straight day.

–Field Level Media