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Local athlete works out while waiting on NFL to start

HOUSTON – NFL training camps are slated to start on July 28, but that hinges on the league and the NFL Players Association agreeing on COVID-19 safety guidelines. So far, there is no agreement, and one local player isn’t sure whether the league will start on time.

Marcus Johnson, a 2012 Clear Springs High School and Texas Longhorns graduate, plays for the Indianapolis Colts and is working out in his hometown while he waits.

“Everything is tentative,” said Johnson. “It’s a lot of rumors involved. I don’t think anybody really knows except a small circle of the NFLPA and owners.”

Johnson is working out with “The Footwork King” Rischad Whitfield and Delfonte Diamond at Blitz Football, a place he’s come for many years.

“When you get to this level of the NFL, the gap is so small,” said Johnson. “It’s just really fine detail things that make a difference in a person’s success and longevity. They’re footwork geniuses.”

The work is in anticipation of an air-it-out offense for the Colts this season, who add quarterback Phillip Rivers, who is now in his 17th season in the NFL.

“I want to get in good with him,” said Johnson. “I’m a deep threat now. I know he wants to air it out!”

Johnson is coming off his best season in the NFL, where he started six games for the Colts and caught 17 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. He resigned with Indianapolis in April on a one-year, $825,000 deal and is in the mix for targets behind T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal.