Ryan Grant emerging as Colts' No. 2 receiver?

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Andrew Luck's return looms as an immediate game-changer for top Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton, but who will play the role of Indy's No. 2 pass-catcher?

Clues to that question surfaced Monday when new head coach Frank Reich told reporters: "T.Y. and Ryan Grant have really separated themselves," per the team's official website.

The Colts entered August without a clear-cut second fiddle to Hilton, the dynamic starter angling for a bounce-back year after posting his lowest catch total (57) in half a decade.

Chalk that up to missing Luck. Finally healthy, the Pro Bowl starter and Hilton are "definitely in sync," but Grant -- the former Redskin -- has caught the attention of the coaching staff.

"Ryan has done what we ask guys to do on a consistent basis, and that's just improve every single day -- fight to improve every single day. And we just see that in Ryan," Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said Monday. "Even if the ball's not going to Ryan and maybe not everybody sees that -- 'Hey, why didn't Ryan Grant catch more passes?' -- we see it on every single play. 'Hey, man, look at how he's running that route. Look how he's releasing off the ball right there. Look at how he's getting in and out of (breaks). Oh my goodness, did you see that big run? Ryan Grant was the one who came in and got him.' And that's what we've seen out of Ryan."

Grant looms as a bargain for the Colts after inking a one-year, $5 million contract in March. His 45/573/4 line in Washington last season marks his best work to date, but those numbers will spike if he wrests away No. 2 duties.

His main challenger comes in the form of Deon Cain, the sixth-round pick who NBC's Peter King called the "big star of training camp," saying: "Look for him early on to make a big impact." Those words were echoed by NFL Network's Stacey Dales, who called the former Clemson star a "massive steal" for Indy.

Chester Rogers, K.J. Brent and Dres Anderson are part of the group, too, but Cain and Grant have turned heads. The preseason will help sort out the pecking order.

Listing ones, twos and threes at the receiver position is a dim chore in August, but it's notable the Colts have two young players at the helm. Hilton has long traveled without an ultra-reliable No. 2.

With Luck back in action, the more the merrier at wide receiver. The larger takeaway is that Indy's offense -- a snoozefest during the quarterback's absence -- has the chance to delight come September.

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