Hooker eases into Colts’ debut | Local Sports – Indianapolis Colts News

Hooker eases into Colts’ debut | Local Sports – Indianapolis Colts News

By George Bremer

CNHI Sports Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — Malik Hooker finally made his NFL debut Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

And the Indianapolis Colts are taking no chances with their first-round pick.

The 21-year-old safety and New Castle High graduate worked alongside his teammates for about an hour during the Colts’ first practice of training camp. He spent the final hour getting in some extra individual work on the side.

It’s all part of a process to bring the former Ohio State star along slowly after he spent the spring recovering from hip and hernia surgeries.

“It’s like starting to walk all over again,” Hooker said. “You gotta crawl, then you gotta walk and then you gotta jog. So everything right now is going great fror me. I’m just glad to be out there with the team.”

Hooker admitted the past few months have tested his patience.

He hadn’t practiced since December, during the run up to the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff loss to Clemson on New Year’s Eve. Most of his time since being drafted 15th overall by Indianapolis has been spent working in his playbook, taking mental reps at practice or picking the brain of defensive backs coach Greg Williams.

All the off-field work has Hooker feeling as though he’s not too far behind his teammates in the mental game.

His first day on the field was all about catching up physically.

“It’s about pretty much getting my feet back under me and getting back into technique and fundamental things,” he…

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