The hole opened like an accordion.
Out of the hole came Deji Karim, as untouched as he was when he received the kickoff from Texans kicker Shayne Graham a yard deep into the end zone.
Karim was introduced to many Colts fans on Sunday afternoon when he took a third quarter kickoff 101 yards to regain the lead for the Indianapolis, a lead that would not be relinquished.
Finding a niche at the kick return position is something the Colts have been searching for all season long and Karim is grasping that opportunity.
Karim has had nine kick returns averaging 36.4 yards over the past three weeks and he appears to have solidified a position that has seen seven different players attempt at least three kick returns this season.
“He’s been a 21, 22+ average as a kick returner in this league. It’s not like he’s some guy who has never done it before,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said of Karim.
“He ran 4.38 (40-yard dash) coming out. If you’re going to sign a guy you might as well sign 4.38. I think everyone saw that speed (Sunday).
After spending training camp with the Colts, Karim was victim of a numbers crunch at the running back position and was cut prior to the season opener.
When Donald Brown and Robert Hughes were placed on injured reserve following the Colts win over the Titans on Dec. 9, Karim’s phone rang while working as a valet driver in Oklahoma City.
“(Director of Pro Personnel) Kevin Rogers called (Karim) and we had to get him here quickly because we wanted to work him out first because he had been out since training camp,” Grigson said. “We brought him in and he said I’ve got to get my work clothes off and I’ll get to the airport as fast as I can. I didn’t know he was parking cars but God bless him.
“He came in and answered the bell and it’s the whole ‘next man up’ thing. The last preseason game he really played well and sometimes in this league it’s just about opportunity and he’s make the most of his right now.”
During his time away from football, Karim has been keeping a keen watch on the Colts season and could not be happier to be back apart of it contributing to a trip to the playoffs.
“What we got going here is amazing,” Karim said. “Just to be part of this family and come back and be a part of it, words can’t even describe it.”
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