A first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2017, Malik Hooker is an every down player, so this is a big loss for Indianapolis’ defense. Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The hits keep on coming, as we’ve got word of another devastating injury to pass along. The Colts fear safety Malik Hooker has a torn Achilles, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

A first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2017, Hooker is an every down player, so this is a big loss for Indianapolis’ defense. Hooker’s pro career has been plagued by injuries. As a rookie he tore his ACL after seven games; and he missed a handful of contests over the past couple years with other minor ailments.

It’s tough to see for the youngster, who is still only 24. Colts rookie safety Julian Blackmon, who made his pro debut Sunday after tearing his ACL last December, will be asked to step up. The 2020 third-rounder from Utah played well against the Vikings and will be a crucial piece of Matt Eberflus’ as the season progresses.

The news is especially brutal for Hooker, since the Colts declined the fifth-year option on his contract back in May. That means he’ll be a free agent after this season, and he won’t be fully healthy by the time the market opens. He’s obviously still quite young, but he might have to settle for a cheap prove-it deal due to his now extensive injury history.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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