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Wide receiver Josh Downs views joint practice with the Chicago Bears as a chance to see how he 'stacks up' to the rest of the NFL

Making several catches during the team's joint practice with the Chicago Bears, Downs said that he wanted to treat sessions like it was gameday.

Downs Aug16

WESTFIELD, Ind. - This Wednesday, the Colts kicked off the first of two joint practices with the Chicago Bears.

Though the two will not officially play a game until this Saturday when they will meet at Lucas Oil Stadium for their Week 2 preseason matchup, that had no bearing on the excitement of rookie wide receiver Josh Downs.

"I was real excited," Downs said. "When I woke up this morning, I felt like we were going out there to play a game."

Last Saturday, Downs got his first taste of NFL action during the Colts' preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills.

In that game, Downs caught both of his targets for 29 yards. He also returned four kicks, netting an average of 18.3 yards per return.

Happy to see new competition again, Downs said he wanted to use today's practice as a measuring stick for his ability.

"I've always seen joint practices like in high school and college and I kind of wanted to just get a taste of what it feels like," Downs said. "Today, I did. So, just competing out there with different guys and being able to see different talent other than the Bills and our guys. Basically, I'm still seeing how I stack up in the league."

While no stats were taken, it was clear that Downs was able to hold his own.

He took a bulk of the first-team reps at slot receiver where he was a favorite target for fellow rookie Anthony Richardson.

"I can't complain. He looked at me and I mean, I try to catch the ball as much as I can just to make him trust me," Downs said.

Downs showed that he was a reliable target as he made several catches despite tight coverage from cornerback Kyler Gordon.

Not reading too much into his productive day, Downs said he knows that there are still areas of his game that he can improve on.

"I feel like I can get better of course," Downs said. "I feel like I am doing some things well, but I'm still young. I have a long way to go."

Though Downs takes the route of humility, others around him are happy to point out the things that he has been doing well.

Following practice, Colts' head coach Shane Steichen praised Downs' performance up to this point of training camp.

"He's [Downs] done tremendous," Steichen said. "He runs great routes. He catches everything. Really like his growth and where he's at right now."

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