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Running back Tyler Goodson's 'dreams come true' following standout game versus Pittsburgh Steelers

Goodson has been activated from the Colts' practice squad three times this season. However, in his previous regular season appearances, he only caught passes.

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While the Colts are no strangers to the 'next man up mentality,' it was put to the test this Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After catching a 16-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, running back Zack Moss suffered an arm injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game. That meant that it was up to Trey Sermon and Tyler Goodson to step up and keep the run game afloat.

While Sermon had been in this situation before, getting significant regular season carries with the Colts and in previous stops with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, the same couldn't be said for Goodson.

Though he'd been activated from the practice squad in the Colts' last two games, the only time he'd touched the ball was on receptions (three for nine receiving yards).

Despite primarily serving as the team's receiving back, running backs coach DeAndre Smith said he was confident that if Goodson had to run the ball, he'd be more than capable of doing so.

"I'm not worried about him running because he can run," Smith said on Wednesday. "So, we just got to find opportunities to get him out there."

So, when he got his first carry in the second quarter, Goodson admitted that it felt like a surreal moment.

"I get to the sideline and I'm like, 'Man, hold on. I really got my first carry, like that's crazy,"' Goodson said. "It's a dream come true and I'm excited for this opportunity. I'm happy they were able to trust me - to put the ball in my hands. I tried to do everything I could to make the best of the opportunity."

His workload increased from there as he finished the game with 11 carries for 69 yards, including a 31-yard scamper that set the offense up at the Steelers' 20-yard line.

"I'm still dreaming," Goodson said. "I love this game with a passion, so I try to do everything I can to put myself in a position to be successful and try to contribute to a team win. It was everything I was looking forward to. It was everything I expected, I was just out there having fun."

Based on Goodson's college career, it feels like a wonder that it took this long for him to get this opportunity.

After a three-year career with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Goodson ended his career 10th in career rushing yards (2,551). He also had 19 touchdowns from scrimmage.

However, he ended up going undrafted and signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in May of 2022. He eventually signed with the Colts' practice squad in September of 2023.

"I think the biggest lesson I learned was patience," Goodson said. "Because I've never been used to just being on the team and just practicing and not being able to play the game. So, it was kind of tough, but all it did was teach me patience. And I just kept talking to God and just let Him lead the way and let everything come the way it was supposed to come and that's what happened."

When he got to Indianapolis, he had to get accustomed to a new city and locker room. Luckily, he had one connection he could rely on.

Goodson and rookie wide receiver Josh Downs played high school football together at North Gwinnett outside Atlanta. They won a 7A state championship together in 2017. Off the field, the two grew close since Downs often spent the night at Goodson's house to spend time with him and his brother.

So, after getting to see Goodson's talent up close and personal, Downs knew that it was just a matter of time before he got his chance to do it in the NFL.

"He's been waiting for his opportunity," Downs said. "I know he's had some doubts in the past year just not being able to get out there and being on the practice squad. But, I've always known he was a baller. So, to see him be able to go out there, make some big plays, it's nothing new to me. But now the world can see it."

31 RB Tyler Goodson

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