For the first time since being placed in the concussion protocol last Saturday, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. was available to speak to the media on Friday.
"I'm just blessed to be able to walk away from that and to get up and have the opportunity to even play," Pittman said. "I'm just so grateful to everybody that tweeted at me and just everybody that reached out, called me. I felt love. So, I appreciate everybody."
After an illegal hit by Pittsburgh Steelers' safety Damontae Kazee in the second quarter, Pittman was taken out of the game. Prior to that point, he had caught four passes for a team-high 78 receiving yards.
Though Pittman admitted he didn't have much recollection of the hit, he said he knew that by the reactions of his loved ones that it was something serious.
"I really didn't grasp how significant it [the hit] was until I watched it," Pittman said. "I remember sitting in my locker and my wife came in crying, my daughter was crying and that's like the first time I was like, 'Maybe this was bad."
The NFL agreed with Pittman's assessment and Kazee wound up getting suspended for the remainder of the 2023 regular season.
Though Pittman admitted that he believed that the play was overly aggressive, he said that he felt like the suspension was overkill.
"I do think that they were headhunting, but I don't think he meant to try to impose life-changing injury," Pittman said. "I don't think that any player has that in them and you just never want to see guys lose games and lose that much money because I don't think he was trying to do that. He has a family too - I know that's a hefty fine. He's gonna miss out on a lot of money that he was probably counting on.
"It's unfortunate how it happened and I wish it never happened like for me and for him."
Despite the initial prognosis, Pittman had participated in Colts' practices, albeit in varying capacities. During Wednesday's walkthrough, he was listed as a limited participant. On Thursday he participated fully before going back to limited on Friday.
Following Friday's practice, head coach Shane Steichen said that the fourth-year wide receiver had cleared concussion protocol.
"That's a testament to his toughness," Steichen said. "I've talked about how tough he is. Obviously, he's okay from that hit and I'm ready to have him back."
Per Friday's practice report, Pittman is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Though it remains up in the air whether or not Pittman will actually take the field come game day, he said he is just going with the flow in the meantime.
"I mean, I really didn't know [if I could play] up until a couple of days ago," Pittman said. "We're still not sure yet. So, we're still just kind of flowing with it."