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Could Reece Fountain Force the Colts Hand at Wide Receiver?

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NFL: MAY 29 Indianapolis Colts OTA Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last off-season, the Indianapolis Colts selected wide receiver Reece Fountain in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of unheralded Northern Iowa.

Fountain was waived as part of the team’s final 53-man roster cuts before being immediately re-signed to the Colts practice squad. He spent the majority of his debut season on Indy’s taxi squad before being promoted to their active roster in early December.

Fountain finished his forgettable rookie season with 0 receptions—-and a critical drop in their playoff loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.

That being said, his natural talent and physical measurables remain undeniable:

However, as history has taught us, it generally takes more than being an athlete at the NFL level to successfully play wide receiver—although it certainly helps.

So far, in Colts training camp, Fountain’s talent—with the help of a lot of his own hard work—has started to consistently translate to the football field:

It hasn’t just been on the Colts practice field either.

The 2nd-year wide receiver finished with 5 receptions for 63 receiving yards in the Colts preseason opener against the Buffalo Billsincluding this acrobatic catch.

As a result of his exceptional play, Pro Football Focus rated him as the Colts top preseason performer last week.

Still, making the Colts final 53-man roster won’t be easy for Fountain.

The Colts top four is already seemingly set with T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell, and Deon Cain firmly entrenched.

The front office and coaching staff also remain high on Chester Rogers—which is then 5 wide receivers already.

If the Colts keep 6 wide receivers, that leaves one spot open between Fountain, Zach Pascal, and Marcus Johnson among legitimate contenders.

Working against Fountain though is that someone like Pascal, as the 6th wide receiver, can actually return kickoffs—which demonstrates his special teams versatility and is an added bonus for any player lower on their positional pecking order.

The Colts could test their luck and release Fountain, hoping that he’d clear waivers and they could keep him within their organization by re-signing him to their practice squad yet again.

However, it seems highly suspect that they’d be so fortunate with Fountain again—especially after a strong off-season showing.

Still, Fountain is clearly forcing his hand with the Colts—and it’s a good problem to have, even if general manager Chris Ballard will soon be faced with a tough positional decision to make.