There was some encouraging news on the injury front during OTAs this week as Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon was seen on the practice field for the first time since tearing his Achilles in 2021.
The devastating injury took place during an October practice and quickly ended Blackmon’s second season. As the Colts got on the field for their second week of OTAs on Wednesday, Blackmon was seen running position drills for the first time.
Head coach Frank Reich told the media that the hope is the versatile safety will be a full-go for training camp.
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that,” Reich said of Blackmon being ready for training camp.
It’s certainly best to take a cautiously optimistic view of the situation. It’s very encouraging to see Blackmon back on the field, but until training camp arrives, assumptions shouldn’t be fully made that he’ll be a full-go.
With that said, Blackmon himself feels he’s mastered the art of rehab. He entered the league as a third-round pick after tearing his ACL the December before he was drafted and was contributing as a starter by Week 3 of his rookie season in 2020.
He’s no stranger to making a quick recovery.
“I think I proved that coming in as a rookie in terms of being really good at rehabbing, making sure that I’m listening to the trainers, the coaches, staying mentally in it,” Blackmon said. “I think that was the biggest thing for me. That’s catapulted me in a way to rehab properly and effectively.”
The Year 3 safety will be a huge part of Gus Bradley’s defense as the Colts install a new scheme in 2022. The quicker Blackmon can get on the field the better, but Reich knows it’s best to not rush anything with this kind of injury.
“Then he’s full-speed but you maybe just monitor him. That would be the hope.”
The Colts won’t return to training camp until late July, but there is plenty of buzz that Blackmon could be a full-go by then.