Philip Rivers' struggles promoted reporters to ask after Sunday’s game and again Monday whether the Colts were considering replacing Rivers.
“No consideration for that,’’ HC Frank Reich said in a Monday conference call, via Mike Chappell of FOX 59. “Philip is our quarterback.’’
In Sunday’s loss to the Browns, Rivers’ intentional grounding in the end zone cost the Colts a safety, and he threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He threw two interceptions in the season opener, costing the Colts 10 points in a 27-20 loss, the story said. Rivers is completing 70.8 percent of his passes and averaging 8.0 yards per attempt.
In his Thursday notebook column, Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis said that there is a possibility of seeing a new T.Y. Hilton with the arrival of Philip Rivers. "Hilton agrees that he could be in line for a higher volume of catches this year, thanks to him and Philip Rivers being in sync when it comes to finding soft spots against zone coverage," wrote Bowen. "Throughout his time in the NFL, no matter the quarterback, Hilton has never been a real high catch guy. He’s averaged 4.7 catches per game in his career, with a season high of 5.7 in 2016."
Bowen went on about 2016.
"Speaking of ’16, when Hilton led the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards, the 30-year-old says this is the best he’s felt physically since that career-best campaign."
Hilton has had his share of injuries in his career, including this summer. If he were to miss time again in 2020, it would cause a ripple effect with the young receiving corps in Indy, none of who have been a focal point of the offense or have stayed healthy themselves. A return to health and a full season of production would be welcomed by Hilton backers; his ADP was low enough that outproducing it is well within reach.
The Athletic Colts' writer Stephen Holder observed that QB Philip Rivers "has made surprisingly little use of his wide receivers." Holder said this based on his expectations heading into camp and in context with T.Y. Hilton's "quiet" camp. "Obviously, Hilton will get his," wrote Holder. "I’m just telling you what I see. It’s undeniable at this point."
Rivers loves throwing to tight ends and running backs, and his career statistics show that. Hilton already had a ceiling because of time missed with lower-body injuries, but consistent production may be inconsistent if Holder's observations ring true.
It won’t just be Nyheim Hines. It will be a lot of Nyheim Hines. Maybe even primarily Nyheim Hines. But the rest of the Indianapolis Colts running back room is going to get heavily involved in the passing game with Philip Rivers at the helm. That much was made clear Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium during the first of two dress rehearsals the Colts planned in lieu of a traditional preseason.
The story said it wasn't just check-down passes either, there were wheel routes. Hines led the way among backs with seven receptions Monday. But Taylor added five (with a drop), while incumbent starter Mack added a pair of his own. The Colt RBs have all stood out in camp so far. Taylor could end up passing Mack for the lead back, but Mack has done nothing so far to lose the job it seems.