It’s official. On Monday, Colts safety Malik Hooker was diagnosed with a torn Achilles tendon (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). Hooker will be placed on injured reserve and shut down for the remainder of the 2020 season.
It’s heartbreaking news for Hooker, who has seen his young career derailed by injuries. In 2017, the Ohio State product likely would have been a Top 10 pick. But, with concerns about his surgically-repaired sports hernia and a torn labrum, he fell to the Colts in the middle of the first round. Then, as a rookie, he missed more than half of the season with a torn ACL.
Hooker stayed on the field for much of 2018 and 2019, but he was less than 100%. With questions about his long-term health, the Colts declined Hooker’s fifth-year option in May. Instead of an injury-guaranteed $6.7MM next year, Hooker is now on course for free agency, though he won’t have the strength of a strong platform year to show to teams.
With Hooker out of the picture, the Colts will turn to third-round safety Julian Blackmon for deep-field help. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Hooker will concentrate on rehab.
The Colts advanced to 1-1 with their 28-11 victory over the Vikings on Sunday. Next, they’ll face the Jets with Blackmon making his first career start.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.