Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Battles: T.Y. Hilton Re-Emerging as Favorite to Start?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Over the offseason, the Indianapolis Colts attempted to get second-year pro Andrew Luck a couple more weapons to work with on offense. They went out and brought in former New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw and former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Heyward-Bey, specifically, has a chance to be a big part of the offense now that he has a solid quarterback with a lot of upside. His speed and size is still something that has to be accounted for by an opposing defense, which is why the Colts went and got him.

Luck, however, has another guy that he loves to throw the ball to. He and fellow sophomore T.Y. Hilton have developed a natural chemistry and Luck connected with Hilton even more than Reggie Wayne in the last few games of the season in 2012. As the season went on, Hilton and Luck became more and more comfortable with each other and it showed in a big way.

Recently, Heyward-Bey suffered a knee injury but returned to practice days later. While he’s been out, Hilton has continued to develop as a very good receiver and specifically a deep threat.

Sunday in the preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, Hilton hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from backup Matt Hasselbeck. This should come as no surprise, as Hilton is getting used to being targeted on long scoring plays. If the Colts are smart, they should continue that trend.

I firmly believe Hilton should still be considered the favorite to start opposite of Wayne until he proves that he deserves a demotion. Heyward-Bey can definitely work his way into a bigger role and attempt to revive his career, but Hilton is still a better option at this point and he has continued to prove that.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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  • http://swamphermit.wordpress.com/ Karmi

    QB’s weren’t Heyward-Bey’s problems…for one, his hands were/are. Why anyone in the Colts organization thought Heyward-Bey would be the better #2 WR proves that Coaches can be a major problem. For two, Al Davis picked him as the #1 WR in whatever draft that was…not because of how good his hands were, but because he was fast…if you were really fast, Al didn’t care if you had any hands at all. Leave Hilton in as the #2, how hard is that to figure out?! Bring Heyward-Bey in on 3 WR sets, and move Hilton to the slot, if necessary.