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Offseason Notebook

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Colts Offseason Notebook: Returning For Training Camp Is Julian Blackmon's Goal As He Recovers From 2021 Achilles Injury

Blackmon, who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles' last October, is progressing well in his rehab and hopes to be back on the field when training camp kicks off next month in Westfield. 

Colts safety Julian Blackmon tore his Achilles' during a practice on Oct. 20 – between Weeks 6 and 7 of the 2021 season – and missed the Colts' remaining 11 games last year. Seven and a half months later, Blackmon said he sees a light at the end of the tunnel with his recovery process.

  • "Our goal is to be ready for training camp, our goal is to be ready to go," Blackmon said. "I feel really good so as long as we're progressing in the right way I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do training camp." 
  • Last week, Colts head coach Frank Reich said of Blackmon's recovery: "Yeah, it's going well. He looks really good. When we're out there working out, I see him over there and they're working him out physically and he looks strong, he looks good. Not ready to put a date on when he'll be back but I'm optimistic that he's doing well, ahead of schedule and will be ready to go before too long."
  • Blackmon participated in individual drills during Wednesday's OTA practice at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

The injury happened on the final play of the Colts' Wednesday practice ahead of their Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Blackmon jumped up for a "routine" interception and landed awkwardly – he said it felt like his calf "folded" when he landed.

  • As soon as the injury happened – and Blackmon immediately knew he tore his Achilles' – he said he prayed and said "thank you" that something worse didn't happen.
  • Blackmon has approached his rehab with remarkable positivity: "It's very easy to go that route, get negative about it," he said. "But that's not going to help anything. For me, it was just one day at a time, been here before and now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we're right here and it's just been a blessing to be back." 

Blackmon has been through something similar before – he tore his ACL while playing for Utah in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship, and about nine months later made his NFL debut. His successful journey through that rehab process gave him confidence he could handle the one he's working through now.

  • "I think I proved that as a rookie in terms of being really good at rehabbing, making sure that I'm listening to the trainers, coaches, staying mentally in it," Blackmon said. "... "It's not something, of course, that you want to have happen, but because it did happen to me, who better than me to come back from it?"

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