INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been a long journey for Jack Doyle and T.Y. Hilton, but it might be coming to an end.
They’re the two longest-tenured members of the Indianapolis Colts: Hilton was a 2012 third-round draft pick while Doyle joined his hometown franchise after being claimed off waivers in September 2013.
But every indication points to each retiring in the coming weeks. Nothing figures to be finalized until Doyle and Hilton confer with each other.
“I’ll take some time, spend some time with my family, talk with my guys,’’ Doyle, the Cathedral High School product, said Monday. “I know T.Y. has been pretty vocal.
“But yeah, talk with T.Y., talk to some former teammates, coaches, and obviously talking to my family, Casie (wife), and just getting some family time and don’t let the emotion of yesterday kind of influence what my future holds.’’
The Colts saw their season end abruptly with a 26-11 loss at Jacksonville Sunday that kept them from advancing to the postseason.
“I don’t know if I even woke up today,’’ Doyle said. “I stared at the ceiling a lot last night honestly. The sun comes up. My boys still give me a hug in the morning, so that helps.
“But shoot, man, that one stinks. It stings. It’ll sting for quite a while because I really thought this team had a shot to make some noise, so that stinks.’’
And now, Doyle must determine whether he’ll return for a 10th season.
After Sunday’s loss, Hilton indicated he’s already made up his mind, but wouldn’t be 100% certain until talking with Doyle.
“I pretty much know what I want to do,’’ Hilton said, “but I just want to take some time to reflect.’’
“I would say that’s pretty accurate,’’ he said. “Obviously want to talk to my guy T.Y. What a player T.Y. has been, and who knows, will continue to be. Who knows what the future holds?’’
Doyle, 31, admitted his physical well-being will be taken into account with any decision.
“Just banged up,’’ he said. “It’s been tough, tough on my body, tough on me just in general. It’s tough to play football and it’s tough to get out there every week.
“It’s kind of taken a toll. Like I said, I’ll take some time to think about it and obviously talk to people close to me and we’ll go from there.’’
If Doyle walks away, he’ll do so as a two-time Pro Bowl selection and one of the most productive tight ends in team history
In 131 games, 84 as a starter, he’s collected 295 receptions for 2,729 yards and 24 touchdowns. The receptions rank 3rd in franchise history at his position.
Defensive end DeForest Buckner described Doyle and Hilton as “two of the best teammates I’ve ever had.
“It’s all up to them. They’ve had great careers and I would respect obviously whatever decision they make. But selfishly, I really hope they don’t retire . . . I would like to have them back.’’
Hilton will be a free agent. Doyle is under contract for 2022 and due a base salary of $4.7 million.