T.Y. Hilton knows what questionable means.
“I feel 50-50,” the Indianapolis Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver said Friday of his chances of playing Sunday at Dallas.
Hilton didn’t practice all week due to a strained left hamstring. He spent his time with trainers. That suggests he won’t play against the Cowboys (10-4), especially with the Colts (10-4) having secured an AFC playoff berth.
But Colts coach Chuck Pagano cautions against rushing to judgment on Hilton, who leads the team with 82 catches for 1,345 yards.
“The guy’s pretty special,” Pagano said. “Don’t count him out.”
The Colts have ruled out offensive right tackle Gosder Cherilus, who has been playing hurt much of this season and will be given Sunday off due to a groin injury.
“He’s not 100 percent so we felt like the best interest for him and the team would be to shut him down for this week,” Pagano said.
The other big question mark for the Colts is cornerback Vontae Davis, who is nursing a groin injury. The team’s best cover corner didn’t practice Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday.
Not having Davis would be a significant absence against a high-powered Cowboys offense with wide receiver Dez Bryant, who caught three touchdown passes in Sunday’s win at Philadelphia. Bryant has 79 receptions for 1,148 yards with an NFL-best 13 touchdowns.
Hilton has that same dynamic ability. His speed and elusiveness often demands double teams.
“I don’t want to go out there and be able to hurt the team when they could use the spot for somebody else,” the third-year receiver said.
He said he doesn’t need to be 100 percent to play effectively.
“For me, I could be 50, 40, and if you give me the green light, then I’ll go,” Hilton said.
If he’s a no-go, that likely means more snaps for rookie Donte Moncrief, who has had a couple 100-yard receiving games and has shown potential. Veterans Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks would be relied upon more, too.
The Colts have the NFL’s No. 1 passing offense with 4,352 yards. Quarterback Andrew Luck also leads the league with 38 touchdown passes.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.