INDIANAPOLIS – Is this the final chance for Parris Campbell?
Based off NFL precedent and contractual matters, that seems to be the case.
Although, many who have started their NFL careers like Campbell would never even see a 4th season with the team that drafted him.
But the Colts maintain belief in the oft-injured Campbell.
They have shown little, to no, sign of wanting to part ways with him (Campbell has a base salary of $1.15 million on the final year of his rookie contract this year).
Chris Ballard has stood by Campbell throughout the wideout’s injury issues.
That is once again the case, with the Colts actions actually showing even more conviction than their words.
“I don’t want to forget about Parris Campbell either,” Ballard said back in January. “Does it mean we are going to sit here and count on him to be our No. 2 or 3 right away? No. We will add competition to the position, but Parris Campbell is still a very talented guy. The injury part has been unfortunate, but the flashes have been really good with Parris. The guy has worked and done everything he could do but has just had some bad luck.”
If you are making a spring depth chart though, Campbell is No. 2 or No. 3 on it.
Since Ballard made that statement, the Colts have really only made one notable move at receiver. That’s drafting Alec Pierce (more of an outside wideout), who is not expected to be used in a role that the Colts have envisioned for Campbell (more in the slot).
Also, the Colts no longer have Zach Pascal and T.Y. Hilton on the roster since Ballard’s comments.
So the Colts’ actions have gone even a step further than Ballard’s words.
Is that wishful thinking though?
Campbell’s NFL career has been marred by a variety of injuries, all over his body.
Three different surgeries in Campbell’s rookie season limited him to playing just 7 of 16 games. Then in his second season, Campbell took a helmet to his left knee which tore his PCL, ending his year just 2 games into it. Last year, it was a broken foot, on arguably the best play of his NFL career, which had Campbell playing in 6 of 17 games.
In total, Campbell has suited up for 15 NFL games. He’s missed 34 games.
While Ballard speaks to some of those ‘flashes’ the numbers Campbell has put up in 15 career games aren’t that impressive.
Campbell has recorded 34 catches for 360 yards and 2 touchdowns in those 15 games. That averages out to 2.2 catches for 24 yards per game.
Yet, the Colts remain hopeful.
And Campbell remains motivated.
This is his first, truly healthy offseason of his NFL career.
The Colts have not turned away from their 2019 second-round pick, and Campbell wants to make sure that the doubters know where the line is drawn.
“From the outside looking in, people say, ‘Oh, he can’t stay healthy,’” Campbell says. “Excuse my language, but to hell with that. I know who I am at the end of the day, I know what type of player I am. I know why I was drafted here, and the staff, they know. They know I’ve been through a lot, but they know the type of player I am as well.
“So, just when it all comes together, people on the outside stay on the outside.”