Parris Campbell was 100 percent cleared last week from the knee injury he suffered in Week 2 of the 2020 season against the Minnesota Vikings. So the third-year receiver has been able to show off his new look on the field over the last few days at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
Campbell switched his number from 15 to 1, taking advantage of the NFL's newly-relaxed rules on jersey numbers for the 2021 season.
"That's honestly what was the main reason for that — I just needed to be in something new," Campbell said. "Definitely a fresh start so I'm looking forward to it."
Campbell's first two seasons in the NFL have been marred by freak injuries, with the 2019 59th overall pick being limited to just nine games in 2019 and 2020. He described the last two years as "frustrating," especially with 2020's injury coming after a strong season debut (six catches, 71 yards; two carries, 16 yards) against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That Week 1 performance was a reminder — if only a brief one — of what Campbell's playmaking upside can be in the Colts' offense.
"(I) felt like myself in that game," Campbell said. "That's just a piece of what I can do for sure."
The challenge for Campbell will be to not think about his unlucky injury history this season, since falling down that path can lead to playing "timid" or "nervous," he said. Instead, Campbell's focus is on showing himself as the playmaker he and the Colts believe he can be.
And he's also been on the receiving end of some words of wisdom from T.Y. Hilton, who said he texts with Campbell every day.
"My main thing for him is just go out there and just be Parris," Hilton said. "Don't worry about the naysayers, what they say. They're going to talk good or bad about you regardless of who you are. Just go out there and play your game and you'll be all right. As long as he understands what he needs to do he'll be fine."
Plus, No. 1 just looks like a playmaker's number, doesn't it?
"I think it looks fast on the field," Campbell said. "Hopefully make it look a little faster on me."