INDIANAPOLIS – Why can’t the Colts have nice things?
That’s probably the sentiment many fans felt after hearing the latest NFL Network report on Jonathan Taylor (thumb) potentially missing play time due to a thumb injury.
Ian Rapoport added that Taylor played the entire second half of Sunday’s win with the injury.
The injury must have not been completely discovered though until after the game, as the Colts did not announce any injury for Taylor during the game, with Shane Steichen stating the team suffered no injuries in the Bucs game during his post-game press conference. Early in Sunday’s 2nd quarter, the Colts radio broadcast did report Taylor was getting his right hand/wrist area “heavily taped” before Zack Moss took over to start the 3rd offensive series of the game. Taylor had scored a 4-yard touchdown on the last play he was in prior to this update. Taylor went on to have just 1 carry in the second quarter, before having a big second half in helping to close out the win.
Tuesday is coordinator day for the Colts, with Steichen next scheduled to meet the media again until Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon, Colts offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter deferred any JT injury questions to Steichen.
Later on Tuesday afternoon, Jim Irsay reporteredly told James Boyd of The Athletic that Taylor will have surgery on his injured thumb Wednesday, with the hope the star running back can return in 2-3 weeks.
It is not known yet what hand Taylor’s reported thumb injury is on, and if it is something he can play through.
One could very well make the case that Sunday was Taylor’s best game of 2023, in carrying the ball 15 times for 91 yards. Taylor had several runs where he broke free for extra yards than what was blocked for him, looking like his old, explosive self. In 5 games played this season, Taylor has 100 carries for 414 yards (4.1 yards per attempt), while also catching 16 balls for 137 yards.
If Taylor is going to miss any time, that means back to the bellcow workload for Zack Moss.
Against the Bucs, Moss had an impressive 8 carries for 55 yards, seeing a rise in his role after just 1 carry the game prior against New England.
While Moss has had a really nice 2023 season, playing in a contract year, working more so with Gardner Minshew at quarterback does limit the amount of run attention elsewhere. Remember, Moss’ longest run of the year—a 56-yard touchdown in Week 4 against the Titans—came with Anthony Richardson at quarterback. Moss is averaging about a half yard less per carry in games started by Minshew this season, compared to games started by Richardson.
It goes without saying that any sidelined time for Taylor would be a huge bummer to an offense lacking individual playmakers at an elite level, and having to overcome lackluster quarterback play of recent. That’s unquestioned even if running back is one of the more ‘replaceable’ positions on an NFL roster.
Other running back options on the roster could come from Trey Sermon, who is on the 53-man roster. Sermon has 8 carries for 24 yards with the Colts, but hasn’t touched the ball since Week 4. The Colts have two other running backs on their practice squad. Tyler Goodson is a 2022 undrafted free agent who has yet to play in the NFL. Goodson joined the Colts practice squad earlier this season. Zavier Scott is a 2023 undrafted free agent, who showed some intrigue earlier this offseason after making a position switch from wide receiver.
Jake Funk, who had 2 carries for the Colts in the season opener, is a free agent after recently being released by the Dolphins. Colts Week 1 starter Deon Jackson is currently on the Giants practice squad.
The Colts will return to practice on Wednesday, in prepping for this Sunday’s matchup with the Titans.
Stay tuned to 1075TheFan.com for more on this story.
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