Colts’ notebook: Reece Fountain vying for roster spot after ‘long, stressful’ rehab process

Colts

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reece Fountain during a Zoom call with local media August 26.

INDIANAPOLIS – All things considered, Reece Fountain is just thrilled to be part of what appears to be a deep receivers’ room.

It remains to be seen if that translates into the Indianapolis Colts’ 2018 fifth-round draft pick doing enough during training camp to earn one of the five or six spots at the position when rosters are trimmed to 53 Sept. 5.

“Everything I’ve been through, I’m just happy to be back on the field, to be honest,’’ Fountain said Wednesday on a Zoom conference call. “I’ve been feeling really good.

“The next step is to just keep working, man, and get ready.’’

It hasn’t been that long ago Fountain wondered if he would be in position to take that next step.

He was working out in Dallas, Texas during the offseason, still in rehab mode after suffering a gruesome fracture/dislocation to his left ankle 12 months ago in training camp. Immediate surgery addressed the injuries, but two other procedures were required. The latest occurred a few months ago and was the result of his tibia not healing properly.

“Oh, man, the rehab process was definitely a tough one,’’ Fountain said. “I definitely wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. There was a long time when my tibia wasn’t healing correctly. It was crazy, man.’’

The COVID-19 pandemic nearly complicated matters, but Fountain was able to have the third surgery.

“We got to a point where I was going to have to have another surgery, and we didn’t know if I was actually going to be able to participate in training camp,’’ he said.

“It was a long, long, stressful, mentally tiring process. I just thank God I made it through, and I’m able to play the game I love.’’

Now it becomes a numbers game and whether Fountain is able to do enough on the practice field to have a number when the roster is pared to 53.

The Colts generally like to carry six receivers into the season, and the top four are virtual locks: T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, Zach Pascal and rookie Michael Pittman Jr. Fountain is on that next level along with rookie Dezmon Patmon, Ashton Duhlin, Marcus Johnson and a few others.

“Man, I feel great,’’ Fountain said. “It’s been a real competitive camp.

“I’ve just gotta compete. Obviously, this is a what-can-you-do-for-me-now league.’’

Fountain has appeared in three games, including the postseason, but has yet to catch a pass. He spent the bulk of his rookie season on the practice squad.

Campbell in concussion protocol

Parris Campbell is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but not for anything that occurred on the practice field. The second-year wideout was involved in a minor automobile accident Tuesday that left him with a concussion.

The 2019 second-round draft pick is in the midst of a solid camp, and attempting to put a frustrating rookie season behind him. Campbell was limited to seven games and 18 receptions last season by several injuries, including a fractured hand and broken foot.

More medical matters

Tight end Jack Doyle returned to practice after missing several days with a neck injury.

Roster moves

The team waived running back Bruce Anderson III and signed tight end Dominique Dafney. The 6-3, 235-pound Dafney was a second-team All-Missouri Valley fullback/running back last season at Indiana State.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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