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Darryl Morris Just Continues To Survive In The NFL

Posted Dec 11, 2016

Intro: Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darryl Morris has bounced around the league a bit in his four-plus years in the NFL, but the Texas State product, who had his second-career pick on Monday against the Jets, has produced when called upon in Indy.

INDIANAPOLIS — Darryl Morris is an NFL survivor.

Monday night’s game against the New York Jets was just the latest example.

Morris, a fourth-year cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts, snagged his second-career interception on the Jets’ final drive of the game. Nevermind it was in garbage time; the play was made in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football, and Morris was simply happy just to have been on the field in the first place.

“(It’s) just really a blessing, you know?” said Morris, who played 36 snaps with the defense on Monday. “From being at the house a couple weeks ago to being on Monday Night Football catching an interception — just glory to God. You know, I’m so thankful for that, and it’s just really a blessing, and I couldn’t be happier.”

When Morris says “being at the house,” he literally means he was at his own home. With injuries depleting their secondary at the time, the Colts signed Morris as a free agent on Sept. 5, but waived him on Oct. 19 as the team regained some of its key defensive backs into the lineup.

But when starter Patrick Robinson went down with a groin injury, the Colts turned to Morris once again, signing him on Nov. 23. He said his prior familiarity with defensive coordinator Ted Monachino’s system made for a quick-and-easy return to the fold.

“You’re pretty familiar with the system, you know the guys here, so as soon as I came in, all I knew was just jump in, boom, get ready for the week,” Morris said. “Didn’t have to learn a bunch of guys or learn my way around again. Just get here and focus on the gameplan and focus on Monday.”

Morris, has been able to produce when called upon for the Colts this season. In eight games — with one start — Morris has been credited with 15 total tackles, one quarterback hit, one interception and two passes defensed.

A Texas State product, Morris has certainly bounced around a bit since signing with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in May 2013. After starting the 2013 season on the 49ers’ practice squad, he was elevated to the team’s active roster for most of the year, playing in 13 games before his release during final cuts in 2014.

That’s when the Houston Texans signed him to their active roster, as he played in 23 games with the team over the next two seasons before signing with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in March.

But the Jets released Morris on Sept. 3 — perhaps making Monday night’s interception just that much sweeter — and the Colts signed him two days later.

In his career, Morris has played in 44 career games with 69 total tackles, eight passes defensed and two interceptions.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano puts Morris in the same category as guys like rookie safety Matthias Farley and veteran cornerback Rashaan Melvin as guys who were signed in a pinch who have made the most of their opportunities in Indy in 2016.

“We tell those guys to prepare like starters all the time because you never know because it’s going to happen,” Pagano said. “You don’t want it to happen but it’s going to happen where guys will get called to duty and you never know when that is. Those guys do a great job of preparing the players and handle themselves as great pros day-in and day-out.”

With Robinson out again for Sunday’s key AFC South Division showdown against the Texans — another one of his former teams — Morris could very well see the field again for the Colts. And even if his role is primarily on special teams, Morris, who has one special team tackle on the season, said he’ll good to go.

“Special teams plays a huge role every week, and, I mean, we have a lot of guys that are playing well on special teams, and me being able to contribute, that’s awesome,” said Morris, who logged seven special teams snaps on Monday against the Jets. “I love special teams; it’s a big part of the game, so anything I can to do contribute on special teams, you know I’m always ready to go.”

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