Colts: Julian Blackmon explains late struggles in 2020
The Indianapolis Colts losing starting safety Malik Hooker for the season in Week 2 last season was viewed as a debilitating blow to the secondary.
Though Hooker had never proved he could stay healthy — he played 36 of a possible 48 games over his first three seasons– the sheer potential he flashed as a ballhawk safety in his limited game time prior to last campaign suggested he was in for a breakout year.
Luckily for the Colts, they didn’t skip a beat at the safety position. Of course, that can be attributed to the excellent play of rookie Julian Blackmon, who was forced into a prominent role earlier than he expected, especially since he was coming off a torn ACL.
Like most rookies, Blackmon tailed off near the end of the season and he clarified those struggles while speaking to reporters this week. The 2020 third-rounder admitted that leg fatigue contributed majorly to his issues.
Julian Blackmon opened up about his late-season struggles in 2020.
Blackmon suffered a torn ACL in December leading up to the 2020 draft, and didn’t complete his rehab until training camp. Needing about a month to get acclimated to the Colts’ defensive scheme (and back into playing shape) he didn’t become a starter until Week 3.
Fortunately for Blackmon, him taking place in Indy’s spring practices and being another several months removed from surgery bodes incredibly well for his chances to last the entirety of next season without suffering from fatigue.
When you consider that the NFL season is way longer than college, it’s really no surprise Blackmon tapered off down the stretch last season. With the league approving a 17-game schedule that’ll be instilled immediately, the former Utah star will have to work extremely hard to ensure his legs are ready to endure the longest campaign of his young career.
Knowing how hard Blackmon worked amid his ACL rehab to guarantee he was capable of stepping into a full-time role following Hooker’s injury, we have the utmost confidence he’ll be in tip-top shape by the start of training camp, let alone for Week 1 against Seattle.
Stephen Holder brings up a great point.
To think that Blackmon accomplished as much as he did — 42 tackles (three for loss), two interceptions, six passes defended, one forced fumble, and a 60.8 coverage grade — despite coming off major knee surgery suggests he has a bright future ahead of him. Fans in Indianapolis should be expecting big things from him in Year 2.