There were so many questions surrounding the health of Julian Blackmon during the 202 NFL draft. He was coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL at the Pac-12 championship game in December, and quite frankly teams were wondering how, with the COVID-19 pandemic, he would be able to heal and ultimately play this season.
Only one team was willing to take a chance on Blackmon, and that was the Indianapolis Colts. They went into the process of drafting him believing that he could be their safety of the future, with future being the key word.
“I didn’t want to lose him behind us. We thought there was a chance he would be there in the third. We were worried that he wouldn’t be there in the fourth,” Colts GM Chris Ballard said after Day 2 of the draft. “He’s got the ACL injury, we know that he won’t be ready probably until late August, early September which means that he might not even really help us until October.”
Ballard was wrong.
Blackmon has been able to help the Colts far before that October timeframe, and Sunday's game was just another example of that.
Clinging to a 31-27 lead late in the fourth quarter, Blackmon picked off Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow — the No. 1 overall pick in the draft — to seal the Colts victory.
“Week in and week out, he’s making plays in practice and it transfers over in to games. You gain so much trust in a guy like him,” Indianapolis defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said of Blackmon. “He’s only a rookie, and he’s out there making a difference. He’s a playmaker, and guys feed off that energy.”
Here's how the #ProUtes faired in Week 6...
*Indianapolis 31 — Cincinnati 27 / Julian Blackmon, S, Indianapolis
Blackmon continues to make a massive difference on the field, this time coming up with the game-winning interception. Overall, he finished with two tackles, one pass defended and one interception.
*Denver 18 — New England 12 / Garett Bolles, OT, Denver; Tim Patrick, WR, Denver
After never having a 100-yard receiving game in his career, Patrick now has back-to-back games with over 100 yards when he finished Sunday's victory with four catches for 101 yards. Bolles continues to shine as Denver's best offensive lineman.
*New York Giants 20 — Washington 19 / Jackson Barton, OT, New York Giants; Alex Smith, QB, Washington; Nate Orchard, DL, Washington; Jared Norris, LB, Washington
In a game that featured four former Utah players, none of them were able to record a stat in what was arguably the best game of the weekend.
*Chicago 23 — Carolina 16 / Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago
Johnson continues to impress as a rookie starting cornerback, coming up with a big pass deflection that was intercepted by a teammate. He finished Sunday with three tackles and two passes defended.
*Detroit 34 — Jacksonville 16 / John Penisini, DL, Detroit
Penisini may have only finished with one tackle in the victory, but he more than did his job by eating up double teams and even pressuring the quarterback a few times.
*Miami 24 — New York Jets 0 / Eric Rowe, S, Miami; Javelin Guidry, CB, New York Jets
It figured that Rowe's best game of the season would come in a shutout by the Miami defense as he finished with a team-high nine tackles (seven solo) and one pass defended. Guidry added a tackle in the loss.
*San Francisco 24 — Los Angeles Rams 16 / Mitch Wishnowsky, P, San Francisco; Brian Allen, CB, San Francisco; Terrell Burgess, S, Los Angeles Rams
It was quite the game from Wishnowsky, who finished with five punts and one tackle in the game. He averaged 47.0 yards per punt, and twice pinned the Rams back within their own 20.
*Kansas City 26 — Buffalo 17 / Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo
Playing for the first time in nearly a month, Moss was brought back slowly in the loss. He rushed the ball five times for just 10 yards. Although it was low in carries and yardage, just getting back on the field is a win.
Arizona 38 — Dallas 10 / Bradlee Anae, DE, Dallas; Francis Bernard, LB, Dallas; Leki Fotu, DL, Arizona; Kylie Fitts, LB, Arizona
Much like the Washington-New York game, none of the four former Utes were able to record a stat. Although, Fotu's play continues to shine as a space-eating tackle who can also get after the quarterback.
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