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Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (neck) undergoes surgery, to be placed on injured reserve to start 2021 season

The Indianapolis Colts' injury woes continue as Week 1 approaches.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton underwent surgery to relieve a neck injury and will start the year on injured reserve, Colts general manager Chris Ballard told reporters Wednesday.

Ballard said that Hilton will return "sooner than later" and that the veteran already feels some relief after the procedure, per The Athletic. There was no precise timetable on Hilton's return but he will stay on IR for at least three weeks.

It was already assumed that Hilton would miss the start of the season after injuring his neck in practice last week. The 31-year-old didn't partake in any of the Colts' preseason games.

Hilton's absence is another reflection of the Colts' injury-rattled summer. With quarterback Carson Wentz, who currently sits on the reserve/COVID list, still in question to start the year after foot surgery, backup Jacob Eason would lead the Colts into the season opener versus the Seattle Seahawks. All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson is also on the mend after undergoing foot surgery.

Stepping up in the absence of Hilton will be a young receiving corps with plenty of potential. Second-year WR Michael Pittman is a primary target with Parris Campbell, Ashton Dulin, Dezmon Patmon and rookie Mike Strachan filling in wherever necessary. Veteran Zach Pascal will need to be activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list before being available to play.

While Hilton's absence will be felt to start the year, the Colts can take comfort in knowing their top receiver should be back at some point this season.

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