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.
"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.
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.