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T.Y. Hilton's drop in production an issue for Colts

Just in case anybody was wondering, T.Y. Hilton did play for the Colts on Sunday.

The second-year wide receiver was on the field for 45 snaps in Indianapolis' 42-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The playing time produced all of two catches for seven yards.

The quiet afternoon was part of a disturbing trend for Hilton. Over the last four weeks, Hilton has totaled 17 receptions for 135 yards, or roughly the equivalent of a stellar Sunday for Julian Edelman.

Drawing a line between Hilton's statistical slump and Reggie Wayne's season-ending knee injury in Week 7 isn't as easy as you'd think. Hilton put up back-to-back 120-plus yard games in Indy's first two games after Wayne went down. That said, the slump likely speaks to defenses adjusting and starting to treat Hilton like Wayne. In other words, the true No. 1 threat in the Colts' passing attack.

Hilton acknowledged Sunday he's seeing more double teams with Wayne sidelined, but he's trying not to focus on his struggles.

"You can't let it get to you because when it comes to you, you'll be mad and probably drop a ball," he said, via the team's official website. "I just continue to go out there and play my role and do what I do best."

Hilton has star potential, but he might be most effective when paired with a bigger, more physical receiver. Perhaps Da'Rick Rogers -- who turned heads with two touchdowns Sunday -- can grow into that role. With Wayne now 35 and coming off reconstructive knee surgery, the Colts need to locate Hilton's complement of the future.

The latest "Around the League Podcast" recapped all the Week 14 games.

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