Parris Campbell’s injury history is a long one, and it has definitely left its mark on the New York Giants new wide receiver.
- In 2019, after being a second-round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts, Campbell suffered three separate injuries. He had an abdominal injury, a fractured right hand and a pedal foot fracture. Campbell played in only seven games.
- In 2020, he suffered a training camp concussion when he was involved in a car accident. He then suffered an MCL/PCL knee injury that ended his season. He played in just two games.
- In 2021, he suffered another abdominal injury followed by a pedal foot sprain. His season lasted six games.
That means he played in just 15 of 49 regular-season games, missing 34 games over that three-year span to begin his NFL career.
It certainly wasn’t the way anyone dreams their NFL career will go. Campbell, though, believes the adversity made him better.
“My career is what it was. It was tough, very tough those first three years. Being able to bounce back from each and every injury that I had, I really learned a lot about myself,” Campbell told New York media during a Zoom call on Friday. “I feel like I grew as a man, as a person, a player, obviously. It allowed me to grow in so many different areas because I’ve seen a lot of myself that I didn’t know that I had. I was able to fight and bounce back so many different times. It really showed me a lot.”
In 2022, Campbell was finally able to remain healthy for a full season. The Colts were awful, 4-12-1, and with Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles the quarterback play was abysmal. Yet, Campbell was a bright spot. He flashed the talent that made him the 59th overall selection in 2019, with 63 receptions for 623 yards.
“Being able to play a full 17 (games), that’s all I ever wanted to do. Just given the history of my career, that’s all I ever wanted to do. Being able to do that, I was blessed, grateful,” Campbell said. “The injuries that I had, there were things that were just freak accidents. You couldn’t really draw it up. They weren’t avoidable to me. They were things that happened and just had some bad luck.”
The Giants, seeking more play-making at wide receiver, are hoping there is even more upside than what the 25-year-old showed last season. They gave Campbell a one-year, $4.7 million contract including ‘likely to be earned’ incentives with $2.9 million guaranteed to find out.
Campbell believes his injuries and the revolving door at quarterback in Indianapolis last season have not allowed him to showcase the full range of his abilities.
“I feel like there are a lot of things that football fans haven’t seen. I feel like in college, coming into the NFL, I was and still am a guy that can do a lot of different things on the football field, whether that’s lining up inside in the slot or outside, a lot of stuff over the middle, down-the-field plays,” Campbell said. “I think it’s a wide variety when it comes to what I can do on the football field. I’m extremely blessed and talented to be able to do those things. I think last year with the Colts, it was just a glimpse of what I can be in this league. I just was happy to be out there for all 17 and get the opportunity to show what I can do.”
Campbell added that “I haven’t really stopped smiling” since signing with the Giants.
“The fact that the staff, the coaches, everybody from top to bottom, wants me to be a part of it, it’s huge. I’m not going to take that for granted,” Campbell said. “I’m going to give them all I got.”
Campbell and quarterback Daniel Jones have already discussed working out together this offseason.
“I’m actually out in Arizona training right now in the offseason, and he’s like, ‘I’ve got to get out to Arizona. Let’s get to work,’” Campbell said. “That’s what you want. You’re a new guy coming in, a new piece to the offense, and the quarterback is already like, ‘Let’s go. Let’s get some work together.’ That’s just so welcoming. That’s so promising.”