INDIANAPOLIS — Dallis Flowers barely had returned from the shower Wednesday when a member of the in-house media team met him at his locker with a sheet of paper and a request.
It was prep work for Sunday’s broadcast of the Indianapolis Colts’ game against the New York Giants, and the undrafted rookie had just three lines to read into a microphone.
“Dallis Flowers. Cornerback. Pittsburg State,” he said.
A quick handshake followed, and the team employee retrieved the paper and left to complete further errands.
The whole exchange might have taken 30 seconds, but it was a sign of just how far Flowers has come.
After playing two sports at four colleges — none higher than Div. II — the 25-year-old defender could make his first NFL start this weekend.
“Definitely excited for the opportunity,” Flowers said at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. “Definitely want Zay (cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr.) to get back right. He’s gonna be taken care of. He’s gonna be in good spirits. Really just another opportunity for me to showcase what I’m capable of.
“Definitely excited for the opportunity, playing on New Year’s Day in New York. It’s not a better situation for me, so I’m definitely gonna make the most of my opportunities.”
This chance comes in part as a result of attrition. Rodgers was placed on injured reserve Wednesday after suffering a knee injury during Monday night’s loss against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Kenny Moore II (ankle) also missed Wednesday’s practice and hasn’t played since Nov. 28.
That leaves Flowers as one of the top three healthy cornerbacks on the roster, alongside Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Facyson. Safety Julian Blackmon also figures to join the rotation by continuing to take snaps in the slot.
But Flowers has earned this chance.
He’s made a name for himself as kick returner, averaging 32.9 yards on 16 kickoffs, and has been doing good work defensively behind the scenes.
“Man, Dallis is talented,” wide receiver Parris Campbell said. “Obviously, we’ve seen that as a kick returner and special teams and things of that nature, but not as a corner. He’s definitely talented. He has good hips, good feet. He’s smart. He’s able to tell certain routes and when guys are giving tells and things of that nature.
“When you go against the scout team, you want a good look. And I’ve never had to go up to Dallis and be like, ‘Yo, I need a better look.’ Because he always just brings that competitiveness, and he’s definitely challenging.”
Flowers smiled when those comments were relayed to him and noted he takes his practice role very seriously.
He’s played 51 defensive snaps over 11 NFL games, with the bulk of them coming during the second half two weeks ago against the Minnesota Vikings. But he’s only been targeted once and hasn’t allowed a completion.
He figures to see his most extended stretch on the field over the next two weeks, and he’s looking forward to adding to his burgeoning reputation.
“I say a little bit,” Flowers said of making his name as a rookie. “I definitely have more to prove. I definitely have more for people to see for sure.”
THEY SAID IT
“Let me just tell you my mind’s not even there. I’ve got the Giants. I’ve got a lot ahead of me. I’m not even getting into the interview world at all. We’ll keep that — when it is the end of the season, I’ll be glad to answer. But I’m not even thinking that way right now.” — interim head coach Jeff Saturday on preparations for his postseason interview for the full-time job.
Wide receiver Ashton Dulin (concussion), tight end Kylen Granson (ankle), safety Rodney McLeod (rest) and Moore did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.
Everyone else on the 53-man roster was a full participant.
With Rodgers moving to IR, the Colts signed cornerback David Baker Jr. to replace him on the active roster.
Baker spent time on the Indianapolis practice squad in September and originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern with the Arizona Cardinals in May.
The Colts also signed cornerback David Vereen to the practice squad.