INDIANAPOLIS – There’s a reason T.Y. Hilton’s picture is on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium.
In case anyone forgot why, we learned again this weekend.
The first image was behind the scenes at the Colts team complex on Saturday morning.
With the Colts at 1-4, and potentially reeling from a brutal collapse some five days earlier, Hilton knew it was time to speak up.
Even though Hilton has never been known as the most vocal leader, his message at the final team meeting before Sunday’s game was a memorable one.
“I’ve heard some really good inspirational talk…I’ll never forget (Hilton’s),” Reich shared after Sunday’s first divisional win of the season. “I don’t think anybody will ever forget what was said Saturday morning. It was special. Giving it a way that only T.Y. can do it.
“Then he came out here and provided a spark, especially early. First play, obviously we wanted to get it to him early and hit the big play to him. He is our leader. He’s one of our key leaders and just love him in every way.
“T.Y. played unbelievable.”
With Hilton’s words doing the talking on Saturday, it was time for The Ghost to do to the Texans what he’s done throughout his career on Sunday.
Hilton wasted little time making an impact in his season debut, catching the first pass of the game from Carson Wentz.
But the real highlight came later in the first half when Wentz dialed one up to see if the Texans had found any semblance of defense to limiting Hilton down the field.
Hilton ran down a ball that traveled nearly 60 yards in the air by Wentz, catching it right in stride.
It was vintage Hilton, having such an innate knack to track deep balls, especially against this divisional opponent from Houston.
The Colts hadn’t seen individual playmaking this season like they got on Sunday, and it fittingly came in the first time they had their leader suited up this season.
A return of Hilton saw him lead the Colts with 80 receiving yards on 4 catches.
Following last week’s loss to the Ravens, the Colts have now lost 14 of 16 games without Hilton in the lineup.
They welcomed him back on Sunday with open arms.
In a week in which the 31-year-old Hilton admitted that the neck injury which sidelined him for the first five games of the season had him pondering retirement, No. 13 added yet another highlight to the ever-growing reel.
For a Colts team that has searched for ways to finish and put teams away, Hilton is a guy that has helped his team do just that for nearly a decade.
On Saturday, it was Hilton’s words.
On Sunday, it was Hilton’s actions.
T.Y. Hilton is back, and that’s such a calming influence for a team that desperately needed such.