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INDIANAPOLIS – The most productive Colts wide receiver in 2020 has been on the open market for multiple weeks, two separate times, this year.

While that’s a sign of where the Colts are at wideout wise right now, Marcus Johnson deserves plenty of accolades for his professional approach in being a reliable, and explosive, playmaker.

Five of Johnson’s eight catches this season have gone for 20 yards and his stay on the active roster should remain for quite some time.

Johnson first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2016, finding a home with the Eagles.

Under then Philadelphia offensive coordinator Frank Reich, the speedy Johnson made a strong of impression that has led to the two reuniting in Indianapolis.

At the end of the 2018 training camp, the Colts pulled off one of their rare player-for-player trades acquiring Johnson in exchange for tight end Darrell Daniels.

Johnson gave the Colts a spark in 2018, catching a touchdown from Andrew Luck in a Week Five loss to the Jets, That game also ended his season, as he injured his ankle on a late-game kick return.

It’s the injury bug that has overshadowed what Johnson has brought when playing.

A hamstring injury during this year’s training camp kept Johnson out of a large chunk of the full-padded sessions. That played a role in the Colts cutting him at final roster cutdowns. He didn’t return to the team for another two weeks, when the Colts signed him to the practice squad.

That marked the second time this year that the Colts exposed Johnson to the open market.

Back in March, Johnson was a free agent for about a month, after being a restricted FA that the Colts didn’t initially re-sign in 2020.

Despite Johnson not being with the Colts at various times this season, Reich always knew he was an option that could help.

“Even when he wasn’t on our roster though, I just think it was more injury stuff,” Reich says of Johnson.

“We know what Marcus can do even though he’s never had a prominent role for us. It’s funny, he’s just a guy like Dontrelle Inman was for us where we know who he is, we know he has the ability to make plays for us. He’s done it for us. We have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a true pro. He’s unselfish and I’m just really happy for Marcus. I’m obviously happy for our team, but he’s such a good dude, such a great teammate. This has really been his chance to shine, and he’s taken advantage of the opportunity.”

Off-season Lasik surgery has Johnson feeling good and starting to show some of the consistency that has been the next step needed in his game.

After Johnson caught a 27-yarder in his season debut against Chicago, he followed up with 3 catches for 53 yards versus the Browns and then 5 catches for 108 yards this past Sunday—becoming the first Colts’ wideout to crack the 100-yard mark since Johnson did in Week 14 last year.

Philip Rivers loves how Johnson—who stands 6-1 and 207—is able to track down deep balls.

With his health cooperating, Johnson has carved out an important role for a wideout group dealing with injuries (Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman) and lack of impact (T.Y. Hilton).

So here’s Johnson, making the Colts turn back to a guy they’ve said no to before, to help a position group desperate for help.

“These last two training camps have been tough, but I just have peace,” Johnson says. “I leaned on my faith during those times. I knew that Indy was a great opportunity even when I had those setbacks and it was just God’s plan for me to be back here two years in a row, and I’m just thankful. This is my first year of being able to stick with the team for a third season…so being here for a third year, building on what we able to do last year has really helped me kind of settle in and show what I can be in this league and on the field.

“It’s tough, but even last year, second and third year here, when you’re comfortable with a playbook, it’s not hard to get in that groove. So, for me it was just the work ethic. Whether I was dealing with injuries and had to rehab to get back or whatever, staying in-tune with the playbook and whatever I needed to do, so when that opportunity came, I was ready. That’s what’s been showing.”