Hilton, who suffered a left knee bruise in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to Buffalo, returned to practice Saturday and said he’s making progress.
Asked Saturday if he’s still optimistic about Hilton, Pagano said, “Yeah, even more so.” The coach added about the wide receiver’s practice: “He looked good. Yeah, he looked good. He moved around well.”
Because the Colts have an extra day before facing the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, Sunday is an important day for Hilton. Sometimes, a first workout leads to swelling the next day.
“Coming in and like you said, see if he picked up any swelling, soreness, all those kind of things,” Pagano said. “I don’t anticipate it, but you never know.”
Hilton caught seven passes for 88 yards in the Colts’ 27-14 road loss to the Buffalo Bills. After the game, Colts owner Jim Irsay suggested Hilton could miss “a few weeks.”
But Hilton’s knee is evidently not as bad as originally feared.
“I feel good,” Hilton said. “It depends on how my knee reacts (Sunday). I did a lot of work (Saturday), some good work. The training staff did a great job with me this week, just pushing me making sure that I’m on point. I’ll see how I react (Sunday) and talk to coach and the trainers and see how I feel.”
Hilton has been the Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver the past two years. He was rewarded with a five-year, $65-million contract extension in August. The fourth-year pro has caught 221 passes for 3,377 yard and 19 TDs in his career.
“I felt a little bit,” Hilton said of discomfort, “but I still have a couple more days so I should be fine.”
The Colts need a win Monday night to avoid an 0-2 start for the second consecutive season.
“It’s a great thing that (the game) is on Monday. And it’s Monday night, so I get most of that day so I feel good. I feel confident that we should come to something.”
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.