WESTFIELD, Ind. - Coming out of last Saturday's preseason debut against the Buffalo Bills, cornerback Darius Rush was one of the biggest head-turners of the game.
In the third quarter of the game, Rush made arguably the play of the afternoon after picking off a pass from Kyle Allen and taking to the end zone on a 52-yard pick-six.
Not bad for a player who was experiencing his first-ever NFL game live.
"I was doing my daily routine - I usually go in the corner of the endzone opposite of the locker room," Rush said. "And I just literally stopped and looked for at least about five minutes. Just looking around, like 'I'm in an NFL stadium about to play'. So, it was so surreal, honestly. And then once I really got on the field and put the pads on - just to run out there, it was just amazing."
From coaches to teammates, praise for the fifth-round pick's performance has been aplenty as he was able to showcase his playmaking ability so early in his career.
"I had to turn my phone off," Rush said. "It was blowing up. I'm probably at like 1,000 messages right now. It'll take me the rest of the year to read them. But yeah, it was a lot of people telling me congratulations from back home - old coaches. And I was very appreciative of everybody who said congratulations."
The play had been a long time coming for Rush as he had been battling a shoulder injury earlier in training camp, which led to him missing some time.
Now back and healthy, Rush said he learned a lot from his time on the sideline.
"Off the field, you get to study the game a little bit more," Rush said. "And then once you get back, you can catch up from the knowledge standpoint, you just got to catch up with your performance. So, if you can keep up with the knowledge part like everybody else and once you come and you can perform, it shows that you're able to at least handle the capacity of the installs off the field when you're not playing versus when you get out there and are able to do your reps, you're able to perform well without any miscues."
Since Rush showcased what he could do post-injury and has the game ball to prove it, the question now becomes how will he follow that up?
That question will be answered this Saturday when the Colts host the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium for their second preseason game.
Not only will this be Rush's first time playing there, but it will also mark the first time he's been there since the NFL Scouting Combine back in March.
"I'll say it's [emotions] gonna be pretty high honestly," Rush said. "Just to know I was in there trying to get onto someone's team and ended up back where it all started. So, it's gonna be really exciting to perform in that stadium once again."