Colts’ Hooker is second Colts player with torn Achilles in 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have played two games and lost two starters with torn Achilles tendons.

Coach Frank Reich announced Monday that safety Malik Hooker would miss the rest of this season after tearing his Achilles in Sunday’s 28-11 victory, the same injury running back Marlon Mack suffered on opening day.

“We feel awful for him,” Reich said. “He had a great off-season, he was really playing well. It’s tough news for him but I believe the best is still ahead of him and hopefully he’ll go through this recovery very quickly.”

Hooker limped off the field early in the second quarter of Sunday’s 28-11 victory.

The Ohio State alum missed the final nine games of his rookie season with a knee injury and five more games over the next two years. Now, the first player general manager Chris Ballard ever drafted, at No. 15 overall in 2017, could have played his final down for the Colts (1-1).

Earlier this year, Ballard opted not to exercise the fifth-year option on Hooker’s rookie contract, meaning Hooker — like Mack — could leave as an unrestricted free agent in March.

Hooker has 123 tackles, seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries in his four-year career.

Rookie Julian Blackmon made his NFL debut Sunday, replacing Hooker, and recorded two tackles and two passes defenced.

Blackmon was a third-round pick, No. 85 overall, out of Utah but spent most of training camp on the active/non-football injury list as he continued recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee. The second-team All-American suffered the injury in last year’s Pac-12 championship game.

“He did play well,” Reich said. “It was in a limited capacity, he was on a rep count. He came here to compete for a starting job and he showed everything we wanted and expected to see from him yesterday. So we believe he can step into that role.”

The Colts got slightly better news on second-year receiver Parris Campbell, who was carted off the field after the Colts’ second play Sunday with a ligament injury in his left knee. The team said Campbell did not tear his ACL and he has not been ruled out for the season.

Campbell missed nine games in 2019 with an assortment of injuries and entered the concussion protocol late last month following a car crash.

He caught six passes for 71 yards in the season opener and appeared poised for a breakout year until he was hurt on a short running play against the Vikings.

“He’s going to miss some time,” Reich said. “We’re going to monitor that and we’ll leave that up to the doctors. Not sure if he’ll need a procedure or not.”

Campbell’s absence should mean more playing time for second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr., Indy’s first selection in April’s draft. Pittman caught four passes for 37 yards against Minnesota.

Reich also said cornerback Rock Ya-Sin had been released from a hospital after missing Sunday’s game with a stomach illness. Reich did not provide additional details about the illness.

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