- Brian Preece
Former Ute defensive back 'grateful' as he returns from injury
When Indianapolis Colt safety Julian Blackmon was injured during an October 2021 practice, some doubted if he could return healthy for 2022.
Blackmon tore his achilles tendon, a notoriously difficult injury for a football player, on October 20, 2021.
Blackmon has fought through injuries multiple times in his career. He tore his ACL in his final game with the Utes (Pac-12 Championship) but the Colts have been happy with his play after rehabbing from that injury.
Blackmon recorded 34 tackles and one forced fumble prior to the injury. His electric presence was missed on the Colts’ defense last season.
He stressed how easy the game can be taken away while speaking with reporters during training camp on Wednesday.
“Yo, yo, yo,’’ Blackmon said. “It feels good. It’s a blessing, man. I feel like I came back with a lot of gratitude, just be back with my teammates.
“You forget how much something can go fast as it’s given to you.’’
After rehabbing the the injury following surgery, Blackmon participated in both organized team activities and June’s mandatory minicamp without restriction.
Asked if he is back to 100%, Blackmon didn’t take his health for granted.
“Honestly I didn’t want to look too far into the future, but I knew I’d be able to get back as long as I did everything that the trainers (told) me to do,’’ Blackmon said. “I absolutely feel like I’ve definitely gotten back to where I needed to be. That’s why it was good for me to get out in OTAs, be able to feel it and see how well I was able to sustain it for a long time.’’
Prior to his time in the NFL, the Layton, Utah native was a standout player at the University of Utah. Blackmon played for the Utes from 2016-19.
After his time in college, Blackmon was selected by the Colts with the 85th overall pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Blackmon played six games for the Colts in 2021 before his second season in the league was ended by an Achilles injury.
During his first two seasons in Indianapolis, the safety recorded 76 total tackles, 62 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and seven passes defended in 21 games.