Indianapolis Colts: 15 greatest receivers in franchise history
- 169 career receptions w/Colts
- 2,890 career receiving yards w/Colts
- 24 career touchdown receptions w/Colts
- Career 36.6 receiving yards per game w/Colts
Ray Butler played for the Colts during a very chaotic period in their history. Drafted in the fourth round out of USC in the 1980 NFL Draft, Butler spent his first 5.5 years as a member of the Colts organization before making his way to the Pacific Northwest to finish his career with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Colts didn’t qualify for the AFC playoffs in any of his six years with the team. In 1983, John Elway spurned the club and the following year, the Colts moved in the middle of the night from Baltimore to Indianapolis. All the while, Butler hauled in passes for the Colts in the receiving game.
Though never a Pro Bowler, Butler had his best season with the Colts as a second-year player in 1981. That season saw him accumulate 46 catches for 832 receiving yards and nine touchdown grabs, all being career-best marks.
After playing in all 16 games in his first two years in the league, Butler managed just 20 combined games in 1982 and 1983. He only had 27 catches for 475 yards and five touchdowns over that span. However, we would see a bit of a resurgence in Butler’s receiving abilities once the Colts relocated to Indianapolis.
Butler had 43 receptions for 664 yards and six touchdowns in the Colts’ first year in Indianapolis in 1984. That being said, his final season with the Colts in 1985 was an abbreviated one. He appeared in 11 games, mustering just 19 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns.
Butler played two games towards the end of the 1985 season as a member of the Seahawks, where he would retire after the 1988 season at the age of 32.
Overall, Butler finished with 169 career receptions in Colts uniform over 5.5 seasons. He had 2,890 career receiving yards and 24 career touchdown grabs with the Colts. This all led to him averaging 36.6 yards per game while with Baltimore/Indianapolis.
Yes, his numbers have been lost to time. However, three seasons with over 500 yards receiving in a five-year span is pretty impressive considering the amount of chaos the organization was going through at that time in the mid-1980s.