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Parris Campbell Colts
NFL

Parris Campbell Emerging As Key Contributor In Colts’ Offense

  • Justin Melo
  • November 18, 2022
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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell continues to emerge as a legitimate weapon in the team’s offense. Campbell’s production has been flying under the radar due to the nature of Indianapolis’ disappointing campaign. Campbell appears poised to thrive again now that interim head coach Jeff Saturday has placed Matt Ryan back in his starting lineup.

Campbell was electric in Indianapolis’ Week 10 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. The former Ohio State standout secured seven of nine targets for 76 receiving yards and a touchdown. Campbell and Ryan have been displaying some special chemistry as of late.

Campbell has compiled 24 receptions for 203 receiving yards and three touchdowns in Ryan’s previous three starts. The Colts went 2-1 in those contests. Campbell led the Colts in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in two of those three showings. Campbell has emerged as Ryan’s go-to target.

It was a completely different narrative for Campbell when Sam Ehlinger started at quarterback. In two games alongside Ehlinger sandwiched in-between Ryan’s starts, Campbell accumulated just four receptions on seven targets for 58 receiving yards and zero receiving touchdowns. Ehlinger and Campbell failed to get on the same page. But Colts owner Jim Irsay awarded Saturday with full autonomy to make a decision at quarterback. This occurred despite the Colts publicly proclaiming that Ehlinger would remain the starter through the conclusion of the 2022 campaign. An old-school football guy, Saturday quickly opted for experience and handed the keys to Indianapolis’ offense back over to Ryan. It should help Campbell secure a particularly strong finish to his season.

Campbell’s newfound production couldn’t have arrived at a better time. The No. 59 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Campbell finds himself in the midst of an ever-important contract season. Campbell is earning a base salary of $1.146 million this season, via Spotrac. Campbell appears headed for a significant pay raise in 2023 and beyond, whether in Indianapolis or elsewhere.

Campbell has already totaled career-highs in receptions (39), receiving yards (376), and touchdowns (3) with a reliable 9.6 yards per reception. Campbell is doing the majority of his damage via quick hitters and designed touches near the line of scrimmage. Campbell’s post-catch abilities have also been on full display. He’s averaging 5.9 yards after the catch per reception, via Pro Football Focus. Indianapolis’ quarterbacks have enjoyed a passer rating of 101.1 when targeting Campbell in coverage (and Ehlinger’s lackluster showings lowered that figure).

It’s a do-or-die campaign for the oft-injured Campbell, who’s making the most of his opportunities. Campbell entered the season having appeared in only 15 of a possible 49 regular-season contests. Campbell has suffered significant injuries to varying body parts. His medical report includes multiple foot injuries (including a broken foot), torn PCL and MCL, a fractured hand, and a concussion.

But Campbell found health and productivity when he required it most. Campbell’s NFL future was hanging in the balance. Campbell has appeared in all 10 of Indianapolis’ regular-season contests this season. That seemed an impossible occurrence given his track record.

Ryan’s presence has fully unlocked Campbell’s potential. This is precisely what the Colts envisioned when they drafted the speedy Campbell. Colts general manager Chris Ballard may be forced to pay a pretty penny to retain Parris Campbell’s services.