INDIANAPOLIS (ABC4 Sports) – Former University of Utah star Julian Blackmon was thrilled to be back on the field Wednesday.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I feel good. “The progression has been good. One day at a time, but it’s a blessing to see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Blackmon was a star on the rise for the Indianapolis Colts. In his rookie season, Blackmon had two interceptions, six passes defended, one forced fumble and 42 total tackles. But eight months ago, just before week 7 of his second season, Blackmon tore his Achilles heal in practice.

“Just a routine play,” Blackmon said in his first practice since the injury. “It was the last period of practice and the last play. Just routine, jumping up for a pick, and it felt like my calf folded. My whole Achilles was gone. It sucked.”

But Blackmon knew the journey ahead. He tore his ACL in the Pac-12 Championship Games in 2019 with Utah. So it was a bit comforting knowing what the long road of rehab was going to entail.

“It’s nice that I had been through it before,” said the former Layton High School star. “It’s not something that you of course want to happen. But, because it did happen to me, who better than me to come back from it. That’s the tricky part. Some guys, it’s very easy to get negative about it. But that’s not going to help anything, honestly. So for me, it was just, been here before, and now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we’re right here. It’s been a blessing to be back.”

But just because he’s come back from two major injuries, doesn’t mean he wants to do it again.

“Two is enough,” he said with a laugh. “Knock on wood, but that’s good enough for me.”

Blackmon still isn’t 100 percent where he wants to be just yet. But there’s plenty of time to get back to the form that made him a 3rd round draft pick and a starter in 20 of his 21 NFL games.

“There’s no need to rush,” said Blackmon, and All-American in 2019 and three-time All-Pac-12 performer. “I feel like that’s the biggest thing. A lot of guys say I got to get back, I’ve got to get back. You see all these guys coming back in six months. That’s amazing, but I don’t need to do that. I have a whole off-season in order to make sure that I’m in a good position to not get hurt next year. I need to make sure that I’m doing everything I can off the field to be able to perform on the field.”