Dealing with minor knee injury
Latest Headline: Published 2023-05-25
Downs missed practice Thursday with a knee injury, George Bremer of The Anderson Herald Bulletin reports.
Coach Shane Steichen described it as "a little bit of a knee issue" without elaborating any further. The third-round pick out of UNC isn't likely to be part of a high-flying pass attack his rookie year, but he did find a good place to earn early snaps once he moves past the knee injury, as Michael Pittman is the only player on Indy's roster with a 600-yard receiving season to his name. Alec Pierce had 593 yards as a rookie second-round pick last year, but it's possible he'd see fewer targets than Downs even if he's the No. 2 receiver in terms of snaps and the rookie is the No. 3.
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Lands in Indy
Latest Headline: Published 2023-04-28
The Colts selected Downs in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, 79th overall.
This is a fortuitous landing spot for the UNC product, as he should challenge for the role vacated by Parris Campbell. Downs was a target monster over his final two seasons at North Carolina, especially in Sam Howell's final year in 2021 when he commanded an absurd 40 percent target share. His production was great, but how he adapts to the NFL game will depend on how well he can overcome his physical limitations -- he's 5-foot-9 and 171 pounds and doesn't have standout speed (4.48). Still, Downs is a crafty route runner that should fit well in the slot for Indianapolis.