Parris Campbell’s NFL career has been defined by injury. The 2019 2nd round pick out of Ohio State came into the NFL with high expectations after putting up 90 catches 1068 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior year. Campbell has electrifying speed and has the ability to break free for big plays any time he touches the ball. However, he has never played more than seven games in a season in his NFL career and has struggled to produce consistently at the next level.
2022 has been a different story for Campbell as he has played in all six games this year and is starting to find a groove in the Colts offense. The numbers for Campbell haven’t been jaw-dropping, but to be fair, neither has the rest of the Colts offense. Week 6 was the best outing of the year for Parris Campbell and subsequently the Indianapolis Colts offense and could be a sign of more to come. Campbell finished with 7 catches, 57 yards and a receiving touchdown in the Colts 34-27 victory over the Jaguars and will look to build on this impressive performance going forward.
Parris Campbell: Early career woes
Parris Campbell was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 NFL draft to help bolster Andrew Luck’s wide receiver room that included TY Hilton and Zach Pascal. Campbell obviously never caught a pass from Luck after the quarterback’s shocking retirement before the 2019 season, but there was still a lot of hype for Campbell going into his rookie season.
The #colts added some blazing 4.31 speed with second round pick Parris Campbell in the 2018 Draft who can be a huge vertical deep threat for the Colts and Andrew Luck. But I think Campbell brings more than long speed to the table for the Colts long term pic.twitter.com/827PlYd71P
— Optimistic Bengal (Caleb Pierson) (@PiersonNFL) July 29, 2019
Campbell showed some promise early on, but was unfortunately bit by the injury bug just 3 games into his NFL career, a trend that would continue over the next few seasons. Campbell suffered three separate injuries in 2019 that forced him out of ten games, a knee injury in 2020 that saw him miss 14 games, and a foot injury in 2021 that forced him to miss another 10 games. Campbell entered the 2022 season with just 34 catches, 360 yards and two touchdowns for his career playing in just 15 of a potential 49 total games. Not the production they had hoped for from a 2nd round pick, but the Colts confidence in Campbell did not waiver.
Campbell entered training camp this offseason as the Colts starter at slot receiver. The front office and coaching staff trusted in his talent and were hopeful he could put his injury struggles behind him. Campbell understood as well that this was likely a make or break year for him and he needed to prove he was worth the organizations confidence.
A candid Parris Campbell on the injury label + the stakes entering Year 4. "From the outside looking in, people are like, ‘Oh, he can’t stay healthy.' Excuse my language, but to hell with that." He's determined to stay on the field — and knows this could be his last shot in Indy.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) May 18, 2022
Parris Campbell: 2022 Success
Campbell entered the 2022 season with a lot of optimism. With the Colts letting Zach Pascal walk in free agency and not bringing back veteran wideout TY Hilton, there was a void of targets in the offense that needed to be filled. The Colts picked up Alec Pierce in the second round of the draft this offseason but they still expected increased production from Campbell. He impressed during offseason workouts and has, for the most part, delivered this season.
OTA’s stock on who’s performed well so far:
Matt Ryan 📈
Parris Campbell 📈📈 (3 straight TD’s from Matt Ryan)
Alec Pierce 📈
Isaiah Rodgers 📈
Bobby Okereke 📈
Sterling Weatherford📈 (UDFA)
Julian Blackmon practiced for the first time since his Achilles injury👀
— Colts Coverage (@Colts_Coverage) June 1, 2022
The numbers certainly haven’t been gaudy for Campbell. He has 18 catches (11 of these catches have gone for first downs) for 169 yards and a touchdown through six games but the entirety of the Colts offense has performed below expectations this season. Much of this can be attributed to subpar offensive line play and turnover struggles from quarterback Matt Ryan. But the key for Campbell this season has been his health. He has played in all six games (knock on wood) and is really starting to find a groove in the Colts passing attack.
The Colts had their most impressive offensive performance of the year against Jacksonville on Sunday putting up 434 yards of total offense in a 34-27 victory. Campbell finished with his best outing of the season with seven catches for 57 yards and a key touchdown late in the second quarter to cut the Colts deficit to just four. Ryan also found Campbell for pickups of 15 and 12 yards on their third touchdown drive that would ultimately give them the lead.
Parris at the pylon. 🙌#BudLightCelly | @BudLight | 📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/ddqTvglfqQ
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 16, 2022
Campbell made key plays in big moments and was a major factor in the Colts most impressive offensive showing of the year. He has improved each and every week and really seems to be fitting into a nice role within this offense. The Colts also have found an effective offensive line group and a more effective passing game plan as Ryan was not sacked once after being sack five times in their previous match up with Jacksonville.
If the Colts can maintain this level of offensive line play, expect their offense to continue to get better. Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines should both be returning soon from injury and rookies Alec Pierce, Jelani Woods and, of course, third year wideout Michael Pittman Jr continue to impress.
Campbell’s speed and athleticism perfectly compliment the size and physicality of Pittman Jr, Pierce and Woods as he is able to find space from his slot receiver position and make plays with his speed and athleticism. With Parris Campbell healthy and making an impact, the Colts have one of the more exciting, young skill position groups in the NFL. As they continue to grow and find their groove, expect big things from this offense going forward.
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