Colts veteran named as a candidate to make first Pro Bowl of his career in 2023

While expectations for the Indianapolis Colts are low entering the 2023 NFL season, one of the team’s veterans is expected to have a big season.
Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles
Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts are preparing to start the 2023 NFL season. They’ll get things officially rolling on Sunday in a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After an offseason of change, that included getting a new head coach and a rookie quarterback, and a dramatic saga with the team’s running back, the Colts are entering the year with some low expectations.

While it’s true that Indianapolis is a really young team, and they aren’t expected to win a lot of games, it’s also true that Indy has some talented veterans. This is the team that sent the most players to the Pro Bowl just two seasons ago, and those players are still with the team. So this core veteran group could lead the Colts to more wins than people are expecting.

However, of those core veterans, one of them hasn’t been to the Pro Bowl yet. That’s Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman is entering his fourth year in the league, third as Indy’s No. 1 receiver, and an important contract year. There’s a belief that this could be Pittman’s best year yet, and he could make the Pro Bowl.

Kevin Patra, in a recent piece, named a potential first-time Pro Bowler for each team. For the Colts, Pittman was named as the candidate.

Can Michael Pittman Jr. be a Pro Bowl receiver in 2023?

Patra pointed out that Pittman has been an especially solid wide receiver over the last two seasons, despite Indy’s inconsistent quarterback play. Acknowledging that the Colts will have a rookie under center, and that could negatively impact Pittman’s production, Patra believes there’s a chance Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson could help Pittman reach another level.

That's certainly the hope in Indianapolis. It’s unclear what to expect early, but Pittman is a good receiver, Richardson has looked good in training camp and the preseason, and Steichen is an offensive guru. Add in the fact that Pittman is playing for a new contract, and it makes sense that we could see the best Pittman yet.

Even if that happens, the Pro Bowl will still be a challenge, because the AFC is loaded at wide receiver. Pittman will need an extremely special season to be named as one of the best in the conference. If he does that, then the Colts will likely have a good year.