Colts: Should fans temper their expectations for Parris Campbell’s return?

Colts WR Parris Campbell (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Colts WR Parris Campbell (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Rival fans might not want to hear it, but the Indianapolis Colts quietly have one of the deepest wide receiving corps in the NFL.

While they might not have a proven superstar leading the unit, their four top options are as talented as any quartet out there.

The success of the group will clearly hinge on the production of TY Hilton, who revealed after re-signing that turned down a multi-year deal worth more in guaranteed money from Baltimore in order to return to the Colts.

However, we would argue that the return of Parris Campbell, who was limited to just two games last season after undergoing knee surgery to repair PCL and MCL injuries he suffered on a nasty-looking collision in Week 2 against the Vikings, will be just as essential to the aerial attack.

Campbell is expected to be a full-go for offseason workouts and training camp, which is huge when you consider that he’ll be working with a new quarterback in Carson Wentz. Fans will also love hearing that the two new teammates have already worked together in a throwing session.

With that being said, however, we feel obligated to ask this question: should fans in Indy be excited for Campebll‘s long-awaited return to the gridiron or should they have reservations given his extensive injury history?

Should Colts fans get excited for Parris Campbell’s return?

The Colts’ coaching staff was waxing poetic about Campbell throughout training camp last year, seemingly hinting that he was poised for a monster sophomore year. Like most fans, we bought into that hype and his first game of the campaign suggested the buzz was warranted, as he led the team with six catches for 71 on nine targets.

However, it would be irresponsible not to ponder whether Campbell’s proneness to injury will follow him throughout his career. After all, the 2019 second-round pick went under the knife to repair a fractured hernia, fractured foot and fractured hand as a rookie.

In other words, Campbell has undergone four (!) surgeries over his first two seasons. He also suffered a hamstring pull that cost him the majority of training camp in 2019 and left him extremely behind the eight ball to start the year.

On top of that, the former Buckeye was forced into concussion protocol last August after he was involved in a minor car accident. He ultimately wasn’t sidelined for very long, but that freak injury was just an encapsulation of Campbell’s damning durability issues.

This isn’t to say we don’t believe in Campbell’s talent. In fact, we would assert that his upside is  becoming one of the best slot receivers the league has to offer. However, we also can’t ignore the fact that he’s appeared in just nine games over his first two seasons.

It bodes well that Campbell is just 23 years old, but we’d be doing fans in Indy a disservice by saying they should be getting excited for his return, as another injury-riddled campaign could mark the end of his run with the Colts. Just temper those expectations and hope for the best.