Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines leaves TNF game vs. Denver Broncos with head injury

DENVER — The Indianapolis Colts are playing the rest of Thursday night’s game against the Denver Broncos without the only two running backs who’ve seen significant time this season.

With Jonathan Taylor already out of action due to an ankle injury, Nyheim Hines started the game for Indianapolis, and was given the ball on the first three plays.

On the third play, Hines took a swing pass from Matt Ryan and took a hit to the head, then struggled to get his balance as he got to his feet, staggering to the side. Colts teammates in the area immediately started motioning to the bench.

Hines is being evaluated for a head injury, his return was initially announced as questionable before he was declared out.

MORE: Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel: Optics not a factor in Tua Tagovailoa concussion situation

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Nyheim Hines is helped to his feet early in Thursday night's game against the Broncos.
Nyheim Hines is helped to his feet early in Thursday night's game against the Broncos.

But given what has happened in the NFL over the last couple of weeks, it was unlikely that Hines would return. The NFL’s concussion spotlight has been in scrutiny ever since last Thursday’s game, when Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion and went into the fencing position, with his hands up by his face and contorted.

Tagovailoa had hit his head in the Dolphins’ game that Sunday and came up staggering and shaking his head, but his injury was announced as a back injury. The NFLPA fired the independent concussion spotter from that game, and the NFL’s lead doctor, Allen Sills, has said publicly that there are changes coming to the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Hines has never missed a game in his five-year career with the Colts.

Hines needed help to get off the field. He walked on his own to the locker room.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Nyheim Hines leaves Colts-Broncos game with head injury