Colts should sit T.Y. Hilton against Dallas

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton spent the week watching practice instead of participating in it.

That usually means a player won’t play in the upcoming game.

But Colts coach Chuck Pagano has not officially ruled Hilton out for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Colts are calling Hilton questionable with a left hamstring injury.

“This guy is pretty special,” Pagano said. “Don’t count him out.”

The question is: Why do the Colts need to play Hilton?

They’ve already wrapped up the AFC South and a playoff spot. The only reason to play him is because the Colts’ offense has sputtered lately and they could want to avoid the No. 4 seed, which could end up being a road game at New England in the second weekend of the playoffs.

But are those two things worth risking Hilton re-injuring his hamstring and then being out an extended period of time?

No, it's not worth playing him. Hilton is the Colts’ best offensive playmaker and they can’t afford to be without him in the playoffs. The Colts know that, too/ That’s why it would be surprising if Hilton played against a Dallas team that is trying to lock up a playoff spot still.

“[I want to]) make sure I’m healthy,” Hilton said. “Don’t want to go out there and hurt the team and they can use the spot on somebody else. If I’m 100 [percent] and I’m feeling good, I’ll go out there and play.”

Hilton injured his hamstring in the second half of last weekend’s victory over the Houston Texans. He’s fourth in the league in receiving yards with 1,345.

“For me I have a lot of gears, I want to hit that first gear and that last gear,” Hilton said. “If I’m able to do that then I should be fine.”

If Hilton doesn’t play, Pagano talked like he was comfortable going with just Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, Donte Moncrief and Josh Cribbs at receiver instead of adding Griff Whalen from the practice squad because of the versatility they have at tight end.

“There’s enough skill position guys,” Pagano said. “Having a guy like Coby [Fleener]and a guy like Dwayne [Allen], they give you flexibility as far as being in-line tight ends and then flexing them out. You guys know we’ve displaced them from a formation standpoint, got them out in space. It’s great to have guys that can go do that and move around.”