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Hilton misses practice; Reich gives update on Colts offensive line

T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts is seen during the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Oct. 17, 2021, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two major pieces were absent at Wednesday’s practice, but there was also a key return for Frank Reich to smile about.

Quenton Nelson (ankle) returned to practice in a limited fashion and the all-pro left guard appears on track to play Sunday night at San Francisco. If that does happen, head coach Frank Reich shared that Chris Reed, who continues to play well in Nelson’s absence, will move to right guard and split time with Mark Glowinski.

Glowinski has been reliable for the Colts, making 39 consecutive starts at guard which is the second-longest active streak in the NFL.

As for the bad news, Hilton (quad) did not practice Wednesday and Reich said he was “neutral” on the possibility of the wide receiver seeing practice action this week. Reich however was not ready to rule Hilton out for primetime against the 49ers.

If the Colts are down two wide receivers this week expect DeMichael Harris, who has only played two offensive snaps this season, and Mike Strachan, who doesn’t have a reception since Week 1, to be the top replacement options.

Additionally, a larger role for Ashton Dulin is already expected following the Parris Campbell injury

Elsewhere, the mystery surrounding standout right tackle Braden Smith’s sprained foot continues.

Smith did not practice on Wednesday and when pressed about why he hasn’t been put on injured reserve, Reich shared that there was a 1/10 chance Smith would be out this long when the injury was discovered following the Week 2 loss to Los Angeles.

Reich called in a “tough decision” to waive quarterback Jacob Eason and elevate Sam Ehlinger to the active roster as the third-string quarterback.

Reich and Eason met for 45 minutes on Tuesday and Reich said it was “a positive conversation” and that the 23-year-old quarterback took it well. The biggest issue in the team’s eyes in that Eason simply needs more time to develop, citing Ehlinger’s vast collegiate game experience at Texas.

Brett Hundley remains the backup quarterback ahead of Week 7.

Additionally, wide receiver Dez Patmon and rookie defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo also returned to practice on Wednesday.