Indianapolis Colts star receiver T.Y. Hilton returned to practice this week for the first time since undergoing surgery on his neck back in September.
During a press conference on Thursday, the 31-year-old wideout expressed his excitement in returning to the field for his team — but he also revealed that this return wasn’t always a sure thing.
Following his injury earlier this offseason, Hilton said he “almost hung it up” and called it quits on his NFL career. But after talking with his former quarterback Andrew Luck, he decided to power through.
“The first two days when I got home, I almost hung it up. I can’t even lie,” the veteran receiver said. “I didn’t pretty much tell nobody but the people close to me — I was close to hanging it up.
“I talked to Andrew [Luck]. That was probably the wrong thing to do,” he added with a laugh. “He came over to my house and we talked. He wanted me to be good with it, get back healthy, don’t rush it… He was a big supporter.”
"I almost hung it up, I can't even lie… I talked to Andrew… that's probably the wrong thing to do." – TY Hilton, laughing. On how close he thought the end of his career may have been and how Andrew Luck helped. #Colts pic.twitter.com/mx5SDUuhgE
— Brett Bensley (@brettbensley) October 14, 2021
Luck abruptly retired from the NFL prior to the 2019 season citing the physical and mental toll that injuries had taken on him. Hilton, who’s missed 14 games over the past four seasons with various injuries, clearly understand’s where his former signal caller is coming from.
That being said, the four-time Pro Bowler is happy with his decision to return to action.
“Once I got over those two to three days, I started feeling better,” he said. “The first week I came back in here and just seeing those guys, I knew it was a bigger picture than just me and what I was dealing with.
“Seeing those guys and bringing that smile to their face and uplifting them… that’s what we needed.”
Now that Hilton has returned to practice, the Colts have a 21-day window to activate him from the IR.