Eric Fisher played 1,163 snaps for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 before tearing his Achilles' in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game. According to Pro Football Focus' grading system, Fisher's season ended with the former No. 1 overall pick playing, quite literally, the best football of his career.
Fisher didn't quite go that far in looking back on his final season in Kansas City, but it was close.
"I'm not going to critique myself but I thought I was playing at one of the highest levels I've played at," Fisher said.
The Achilles' injury was a cruel blow to a player who prides himself on consistency and availability. Watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers swarm Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV was even tougher for the 6-foot-7, 315 pound Fisher.
And then the Chiefs let Fisher go in March. He understood the business part of the Chiefs' decision, but added "obviously, nobody likes being fired."
Two months later, Fisher signed with the Colts and, when he's recovered from that January injury, will join one of the NFL's best offensive lines.
"As soon as I got the call I was being cut, it was an automatic reset in my brain of I'm nowhere near being done, I feel like I got a lot of years left in me," Fisher said Thursday. "I was actually thinking about that this morning driving back from rehab. It's going to be an awesome reset for myself and a fresh slate, keep working and finish the second half of my career off on a good start. I've been thinking about that and excited to kind of have that reset."
Fisher is 30 and believes he still has a lot of good football ahead of him — like the kind of good football he played for the Chiefs in 2020. He said he's focusing on controlling what he can control with rehabbing his Achilles but deferred any further questions about his recovery to coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard.
But he's excited to be with the Colts for a number of reasons as he hits the reset button to begin the second stage of his career. Getting to play with a talented collection of players — including Quenton Nelson — is a good start.
"One of the huge things is the offensive line there. To be able to play next to the best left guard in the league, I'm darn excited for that," Fisher said. "But across the board, talented guys everywhere. We got a great quarterback coming from Philly and I'm excited to build that chemistry with him, build that chemistry with the guys. But to be a part of that O-line group, I'm really, really champing at the bit to get back to work. I'm looking forward to it, that's a big part of it and I think we're going to have a lot of success."
Fisher's connection with Ballard, who was the Chiefs director of player personnel when he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2013, helped draw him and the Colts together as well. And this is a player who knows what the standard of excellent looks like — Kansas City made the playoffs in seven of his eight years there and never had a record worse than 9-7 from 2013-2020.
And Fisher sees a similar standard being established here in Indianapolis.
"It seemed right from the start," Fisher said. "I'm a Midwest guy. I grew up in Michigan, been in Kansas City the last eight years so I'm a big Midwest guy. I like that it's close to my home state. I think it's just a great organization.
"Obviously I had a connection with Chris Ballard, he brought me in and trusted me to get the job done and I'm looking forward to that challenge and everything that comes along with it. Obviously it's a long season, there's ups and downs of every season and I think this is an organization, obviously it's a playoff team. It's a contender to go the distance here.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of that and obviously left tackle's a big role of that and it seemed right. Everything lined up, it worked out and I'm excited for the opportunity and excited to get to work."
Get your first look at former Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl tackle Eric Fisher as he signs with the Indianapolis Colts in 2021 free agency.