Rookie receiver Josh Downs is quickly developing into a weapon for the Colts

As the Indianapolis Colts approach the start of the 2023 NFL offseason, rookie receiver Josh Downs is making it clear that he’s ready to contribute.
The Indianapolis Colts Josh Downs (1) makes a catch during a shared practice between the
The Indianapolis Colts Josh Downs (1) makes a catch during a shared practice between the / Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar / USA TODAY

This week, the Indianapolis Colts named Anthony Richardson the starting quarterback, then he went on to have an impressive practice against the Chicago Bears. However, Richardson isn’t the only Colts rookie that’s quickly developing. Wide receiver Josh Downs has also been making quite the impact.

Indianapolis drafted Josh Downs in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and the team had very high expectations for him when selecting him. So far, Downs has been meeting those expectations. The shifty receiver has been routinely putting defenders in blenders, and pretty much catching everything that comes his way.

Josh Downs will be a playmaker for Colts

In the first preseason game, against the Buffalo Bills, Downs was targeted twice, and he hauled in both passes for 29 total yards, witch one reception going for 18 yards. He also returned four kicks for 73 yards, contributing on offense and special teams.

For as exciting as Downs has been, he’s still running with the second team. Currently, the listed starters at receiver are Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, and Isaiah McKenzie. Pittman and Pierce will remain, but there’s a chance that Downs could bump McKenzie out of the starting spot.

Regardless of who starts, both receivers will likely play. With McKenzie’s experience and Downs’ promise, Shane Steichen will find a way to get them both on the field. Additionally, since Ashton Dulin recently tore his ACL, the Colts will need more than the three starting receivers to step up and be productive.

From the moment Downs was drafted, everyone in Indianapolis was ecstatic, and had high expectations for him. He appears to be well on his way to justifying that excitement. With two big-bodied wide receivers making plays on the outside, the 5-foot-9 Josh Downs will provide something different for the Colts in the middle of the field.