Colts’ Michael Pittman Jr. added to active roster

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (11) runs a route downfield during an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts’ offense received a boost Saturday with the return of the team’s top draft pick.

Michael Pittman Jr. was activated from the injured reserve list to the active roster and will be available Sunday against the Detroit Lions. The second-round draft pick out of USC has missed the last three games after dealing with a compartment syndrome injury to his lower right leg. He suffered the injury week 3 against the New York Jets.

To make room for Pittman on the roster, the team waived wideout Reece Fountain.

Pittman’s return should give quarterback Philip Rivers another big, physical option in the passing game. The 6-4, 223-pounder had nine catches for 73 yards in the first three games.

“Philip has a history of liking to throw to big, tough receivers,’’ coach Frank Reich said this week. “I think Pitt was just starting to hit his stride. He’s a great blocker in the run game, so that helps.

“I just think the toughness to the offense. I love the way he plays.’’

Rivers agreed. In his final game against the Jets, Pittman had three catches for 26 yards, and each was key.

“I think you saw there as he was getting going, really that game,’’ Rivers said. “Catching some of the suddenness that he can do underneath, big and strong after the catch and just his size, too, and the intermediate down-the-field stuff.

“Obviously he was picked where he was for a reason and certainly has all the physical and mental tools to be a heck of a player in this league. Again, it adds another dimension, another piece, part of that receiver group.’’

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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