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Colts wide receiver Josh Downs shows out in Atlanta homecoming

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Shane Steichen of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after a touchdown with Josh Downs #1 during the first quarter in the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts might have lost to the Atlanta Falcons, but Sunday was still a dream come true for Georgia native Josh Downs.

Downs grew up just outside of Atlanta, and had a whole hometown crew at Mercedes Benz Stadium to support him. 

“I mean, just being able to play in front of my family is huge,” Downs said. “You don’t really see how big of an inspiration you are to your family when they can say someone in their family plays in the NFL. So, just having my uncles, aunts, grandparents, mom and dad in the stands was huge for me. I’m just blessed to play in the NFL. Happy to be here. First year, I’m just learning each and every week, and trying to get better.”

Downs won a state championship just 30 miles away from the Falcons stadium for North Gwinnett High School in 2017. Even crazier, he did it with current Colts teammate Tyler Goodson

“That’s actually surreal,” Downs said. “Just having a high school teammate on the team with you. Definitely dreamed of moments like this.”

Downs was one of the few bright spots for the struggling Colts offense. He led the team with six catches, making some critical plays to move the ball downfield.

There is no question that the rookie has earned his teammates’ respect this season. 

“Young cat’s been playing really well since he’s been here,” tight end Kylen Granson said. “Excited to see where his ceilings going to be because so far, I haven’t seen it yet. He’s fast, he learns everything quick, he’s a reliable pass catcher, and he makes big plays when we need it. I trust him. I know Gardner (Minshew) trusts him. I know Anthony Richardson trusts him. The coaches trust him. When you got all that trust, there’s no telling how far you can go.”

Nowhere to go but up for Josh Downs.

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