While 2020 was a lost year for many due to Covid-19 and everything that the pandemic caused, it was a lost year for Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell in a different way. Campbell – a player that the Colts are counting on to turn into a superstar at the position – was lost in Week 2 of the season to an MCL/PCL injury that he couldn’t quite overcome in time for the playoffs.
What made this spell on the sidelines all the more frustrating is that Campbell was also bitten by the injury bug during his rookie campaign in 2019. Campbell – who always stands out on the field due to both his obvious skill and his 3D Chrome Beast mouth guard courtesy of LOUDMOUTH – battled through a host of problems in his first year out of Ohio State that led to three surgeries. That he was even on the field in 2020 at all given the obstacles that his body keeps putting in his way is a testament to the hard work and dedication that Campbell puts into his craft as a wide receiver.
Campbell showed in Week 1 of the 2020 season what a weapon he can be for the Colts when he is healthy. He put up 71 yards on six receptions from nine targets in the Colts loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, leading the team in receptions from a wide out (Nyheim Hines had eight catches from the running back position on check-down throws) and averaging 11.8 yards per catch. His chemistry with new quarterback Philip Rivers was outstanding right off of the bat and it looked like Rivers would be just the type of quarterback with the ability to make full use of Campbell’s talents.
When Campbell does come back in 2021 he will be working with his third quarterback in three seasons with the Colts after the retirement of the former San Diego Chargers’ legend. No one can argue that Colts haven’t at least tried to find a replacement for Rivers, with the team having traded for Carson Wentz with the Philadelphia Eagles. In Campbell, Wentz will have a readymade playmaker on the outside to lean on as he eases into a new offensive system in Indy.
At 6-foot and 205 pounds – along with a combine 40-yard-dash time of 4.31 seconds – Campbell has the measurables to explode in his third year in the league. He posted 18 catches for 127 yards and one score in his injury blighted rookie season, but he is a player that starred with the Buckeyes on his way to becoming the No. 59 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Campbell had a monster senior season in Columbus – over 1,050 yards on 90 catches (in 14 games) and scoring 12 touchdowns – as part of an overall college career that saw him go over 1,700 yards receiving with 17 total scores. It is now time for Campbell to star injury free and parlay that potential that is oozing out of his body into becoming a huge contributor for the Colts.
In the last two games that Campbell has played from start to finish – beginning and staying healthy – he has had 15 touches for 160 yards. Players that can produce those kind of numbers aren’t all that common and given the fluke nature of some of the injuries that he has picked up there isn’t a huge amount of concern that Campbell is brittle. His rehab work has been outstanding according to noises coming from the Colts’ locker room and as a young and talented player it will be interesting to watch a driven Campbell taking the AFC South by storm in his LOUDMOUTH piece in 2021.