2014 DRAFT GUIDE
T.Y. Hilton making big impact for Colts

    2012-11-29 03:30

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - As the NFL game slows down for him, T.Y. Hilton is playing faster. As opponents pay more attention to Reggie Wayne, he is emerging as a key contributor. And as the smallest player on the Colts' roster, Hilton is making a huge impact.

The 5-foot-9, 183-pound rookie couldn't dream of a better way to start a career.

``It's been a lot of fun,'' Hilton said Wednesday. ``I love changing games, bringing another dimension to the game. It's all fun.''

Hilton is no ordinary rookie and in no ordinary learning environment.

Interim coach Bruce Arians has a history of waiting patiently for new receivers to get acclimated to facing bigger, faster defenders before turning them loose and raising the expectations. See Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh.

Hilton also didn't come from a big school with a gaudy draft grade or the burden of living up to the reputation of other higher-profile receivers.

He was able to get a crash course in film study and practice habits from Pro Bowler Wayne, who spends his offseasons working out in Hilton's hometown of Miami. And with veterans such as Wayne and Donnie Avery already on board, Hilton didn't have to emerge as a go-to receiver immediately.

Instead, the fourth player selected in Indy's rookie class was able to blend in behind the first three picks - quarterback Andrew Luck and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen - and learn things on his own timetable.

Now the Colts (7-4) are reaping the rewards.

``You can just tell that he's playing faster every week, more comfortable,'' Luck said. ``I'm glad to start seeing it pay dividends and hopefully he'll continue to play fast and continue to do decent things.''

In this rookie class, record-breaking chases have become the norm.

Luck is on pace to break the NFL's rookie single-season marks for pass attempts, completions and yardage. With a win Sunday in Detroit, Luck also would break Sam Bradford's rookie record for wins by a No. 1 overall pick (seven).

Allen is closing in on the franchise's rookie receptions record for tight ends.

Hilton, too, is making history. He already shares the Colts' rookie record for 100-yard games (three) with Andre Rison, and last weekend, Hilton became the first player in franchise history to catch a touchdown pass and score on a punt return in the same game.

The second-best rookie in Indianapolis was so impressive against Buffalo, he was named this week's AFC special teams player of the week.

``He's extremely explosive. I think I'll go back to the Louisville game (last year) where he just blew off the tape catching balls down the middle, catching short passes, making guys miss,'' Arians said. ``Punt returns, kick returns, you knew that in the open field, he was extremely dangerous, not just top end speed but elusiveness to go with it, and he had solid hands. More than all those things, he's got a great work ethic and humility about him. He's going to be a great pro.''

Despite being the 13th receiver taken in April's draft, only two rookie receivers have topped Hilton's numbers (33 receptions, 488 yards). And Buffalo coach Chan Gailey acknowledged that it was Hilton - not the usual suspects like Luck or Wayne- who changed last Sunday's game.

It may only be the start.

``Thanksgiving to Christmas is when you want your young wide receivers to step in and have a major role,'' Arians said. ``LaVon (Brazill) has started to increase his productivity. T.Y. has had more opportunities and, obviously, now is becoming a major factor in our offense but also as a punt returner. We always thought it was there, but you've just got to watch him grow.''

And Hilton intends to deliver on that promise.

``I still have a lot of room to grow,'' Hilton said. ``This is the turning point of the season, where rookies normally hit that rookie wall. But I'm feeling good and the game is slowing down for me right now.''

NOTES: The Colts have placed defensive tackles Josh Chapman and Fili Moala on season-ending injured reserve with knee injuries. Indy signed safety Delano Howell off of Buffalo's practice squad and defensive tackle Kellen Heard to take their spots on the active roster. ... Arians expects to get two starters - Fleener and cornerback Vontae Davis - back on the field Sunday at Detroit. Both have missed the last four games with injuries. ... Arians said earlier this week that he didn't expect Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to be suspended this week and when asked Wednesday whether he considered Suh a dirty player, Arians responded: ``No I don't think he's a dirty player. I'd love to have him on my team. I like the way he plays, he plays aggressive, hard and fast and physical and I don't think there's anything wrong. I think that's why they call it football.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan TannehillSep 15 04:15p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill struggled to deliver accurate passes in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, and TE Charles Clay had several dropped passes. Tannehill was 5-for-16 (31 [ More ]

Chris IvorySep 15 04:11p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson played 27 snaps in Week 2, while RB Chris Ivory played 27 and RB Bilal Powell played 17 snaps Sunday, Sept. 14.

John AbrahamSep 15 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) will return to the team, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Abraham had been mulling retirement.

Keith RiversSep 15 04:02p

Buffalo Bills LB Keith Rivers (groin) will be tested this week to gauge how close he is to returning from a groin injury. Rivers did not practice last week [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 15 03:32p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) is undergoing an MRI on his injured left ankle, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Charles TillmanSep 15 03:32p

Chicago Bears CB Charles Tillman (triceps) will likely be placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIISep 15 03:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will not be placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

DeSean JacksonSep 15 03:12p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is day-to-day with a shoulder sprain. His status for this week's game is yet to be determined.

Jerrel JerniganSep 15 02:42p

New York Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan (foot) has a mid-foot sprain and is being evaluated. There is no timetable yet on his return.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 15 02:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) had his right knee taped Monday, Sept. 15, but appeared to be walking fine.

Rod StreaterSep 15 02:32p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (hip) suffered a hip flexor injury Week 2.

Marques ColstonSep 15 02:32p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston, who didn't catch a pass in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns for the first time in 87 games, wasn't even targeted a [ More ]

Walter ThurmondSep 15 02:32p

New York Giants CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) is out for the season as he will undergo surgery for a torn pectoral Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Justin JonesSep 15 02:22p

Free-agent WR LaQuan Williams (Ravens) and TE Justin Jones (Patriots) are scheduled to work out for the Kansas City Chiefs Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to a source.

Donald BrownSep 15 02:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown is likely to fill the void as the team's every-down running back with RB Ryan Mathews (knee) sidelined.

Nevin LawsonSep 15 02:22p

Detroit Lions CB Nevin Lawson (toes) could very well be out for the season after undergoing surgery on his dislocated toes, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Lawson suffered [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 15 02:12p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is scheduled to work out Tuesday, Sept. 16, in order to test his injured thigh.

Marcedes LewisSep 15 02:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (ankle) is a candidate to be placed on the Active/Reserve/Injured list because of his high ankle sprain, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Tavon AustinSep 15 01:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and is expected to miss around two weeks, according to a source.

Chad HenneSep 15 01:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne is still the starting quarterback for now, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Mark IngramSep 15 01:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram (hand) suffered a broken hand in the team's Week 2 game and will miss at least four weeks, according to a source.

Carson PalmerSep 15 01:42p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said he wasn't close to playing in Week 2 against the New York Giants. He described his injury as a nerve in his [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuSep 15 01:42p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) played for the first time in Week 2 against the New York Giants since suffering two torn knee ligaments last December. He was [ More ]

Lamar MillerSep 15 01:32p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) left the Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills in a walking boot Sunday, Sept. 14, and his status for Week 3 against [ More ]

Allen HurnsSep 15 01:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (ankle) is considered day-to-day because of the ankle injury he suffered Week 2.

Ryan MathewsSep 15 01:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source. Mathews could [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 15 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Chris McCainSep 15 01:22p

Miami Dolphins LB Chris McCain (illness) hardly played at all in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills after being a big contributor in the Week 1 victory. McCain missed [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 15 01:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was reinstated after being deactivated in Week 2 against the New England Patriots following his arrest on a charge of causing injury to his [ More ]

Marcedes LewisSep 15 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (ankle) will be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a high ankle sprain.

DeSean JacksonSep 15 01:02p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is listed as day-to-day after being diagnosed with an AC joint sprain in Week 2. Jackson left the game in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

R. Griffin IIISep 15 01:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) isn't dealing with a fractured ankle, according to an MRI exam, and he doesn't think surgery is necessary. The best-case scenario for [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group