Indianapolis Colts: Can Mike Strachan’s role increase with Parris Campbell out?
On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts got some tough injury news regarding wide receiver Parris Campbell, who left Sunday’s game in the first half. Head coach Frank Reich provided an update, revealing it’s a “significant foot injury” and Campbell will miss some time.
The former Ohio State star was hoping to emerge as the Colts’ big-play receiver after being limited in 2019 and 2020. He logged 10 receptions for 162 yards and one touchdown in five games this year, but we can expect another abbreviated campaign from him now.
This is tough news for an Indianapolis team that just got receiver T.Y. Hilton back this weekend after he had missed the beginning of the season. Hilton also left Sunday’s game with an injury but received positive updates on Monday.
While the Colts would love to for their receiving unit to be at full strength, getting Hilton back makes losing Campbell more bearable. But now it’s time to focus on who will step up in Campbell’s absence.
Can Mike Strachan step up for Colts with Parris Campbell is out?
One receiver who can earn increased time in this scenario is rookie Mike Strachan. The seventh-round draft pick impressed coaches and teammates as he battled to make the final roster during camp. Since then, he has seen inconsistent playing time and has struggled to solidify a role with the offense.
In Week 1, Strachan played 18 snaps and had two big third-down catches for 26 total yards. In Week 2, he played 34 snaps and was targeted once. After that, he was a healthy scratch in Week 3 and played a combined seven snaps in Weeks 4 and 5.
With Campbell once again out of the picture, Indianapolis’ top receivers will be T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., and Zach Pascal. Competing to be the fourth guy will be Strachan and Ashton Dulin.
If Campbell is sidelined for an extended period, Strachan will have plenty of time to carve out a bigger role for himself. He has already flashed his talent throughout camp and showed what he can contribute in Week 1. In fact, we’re still a bit confused why the team didn’t work to feature him more after his performance in his first NFL game.
With more opportunity, Strachan has the chance to sway the coaching staff in practice and perhaps string together positive showings to carve out a definitive role for himself.
Another weapon would be much appreciated for a Colts team that’s off to a 2-4 start. In Sunday’s victory against the Houston Texans, Indianapolis showed what their offense can look like when healthy. Although it was just for a limited time, the Colts set up their offense with running back Jonathan Taylor, forcing the defense to creep in and then attacking over the top with either Hilton or Campbell.
Throw Strachan into the mix and let him use his athleticism to make plays.