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INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts passing game is getting back one of its most explosive receivers, just in time for Sunday’s season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And hopefully the weeks to come.
Indianapolis activated third-year receiver Parris Campbell off injured reserve on Saturday, making him available to the offense for the first time in 12 weeks.
The last time Campbell was healthy, he was making a 51-yard touchdown catch against the Houston Texans. Campbell broke his foot on the play, underwent surgery and has spent the past three months rehabilitating the injury in hopes of getting back on the field again.
“I think Parris had a pretty good week,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said Friday.
Indianapolis also made a flurry of other moves to shore up positions left thin by injury. The Colts activated defensive tackle Chris Williams as DeForest Buckner battles a knee injury, brought up cornerback Anthony Chesley as depth since Xavier Rhodes is out with a hamstring and brought up veteran safety Will Redmond as a COVID-19 replacement for Andrew Sendejo.
More than anything, however, the Colts could use an injection of speed in the passing game.
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Carson Wentz has averaged just 5.7 yards per dropback since Week 10, and an offense that was piling up passing plays of 40 yards or more in the first half of the season hasn’t been able to create the same chunk plays down the stretch.
Campbell, who had 10 catches for 162 yards before the injury, has the kind of speed that can help open things up for the rest of the passing game. The last time Campbell played in Jacksonville, he had six catches for 71 yards in the 2020 season opener against the Jaguars.
“I just think he’s a dynamic, dynamic player down the field, a dynamic player with the ball in his hands,” Wentz said. “Defenses feel his speed and his presence when he’s out there. I think that will potentially open up some things, and hopefully we can get him involved.”
Campbell, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, would be playing in just the 15th game of a possible 49 in his first three seasons.
But his presence also means the Colts will finally have their preferred receiving group on the field together for just the second time this season, a development that could be big if Indianapolis breaks its string of six consecutive losses against Jacksonville and clinches a spot in the playoffs.
When he’s healthy, Campbell slots in as the team’s No. 3 receiver, a perfect complement to Michael Pittman Jr. and T.Y. Hilton.
“It’s not just stretching the field down the field, I mean, his short-area quickness is insane,” Colts running back Jonathan Taylor said. “He’s just so versatile, and it definitely brings another dynamic to this team.”
An offensive weapon who could pay dividends for Indianapolis in the playoffs.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indianapolis Colts news: Parris Campbell activated from injured reserve