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INDIANAPOLIS – Fitting that the Colts’ highest rushing output of the 2018 season came in the first full game for their starting running back.

Marlon Mack was still on a pitch count in his return to the lineup this past Sunday versus the Jets.

However, that didn’t stop Mack from rushing for 84 yards, the most of any Colts’ player this season.

The Colts received 76 of those yards after halftime, with Frank Reich sticking with the run and the second-year back providing some much-needed life with the multi-score deficit.

“We came out and (Mack) creased a couple of runs,” Reich said after Sunday’s loss to the Jets. “I just thought that was important to keep that going, and I thought he provided a spark there.

“Something positive to build on.”

Yes, it was probably easier for the Colts to find some ground game success at that point, with the Jets expecting more of a passing focus. And Mack committed a huge drop on the second play of the game.

Still, the return of Mack showed why the Colts have been steadfast that he is their lead back in 2018.

“Marlon is the number one back for a reason,” Reich said as Mack was making his comeback from a tweaked hamstring in Week Two.

In two games this season, Mack has rushed for 123 yards on 22 carries (5.6 yards per carry).

With Mack’s nagging hamstring injury sidelining him for the vast majority of games so far in 2018, the running back by committee approached had been mostly rookie-focused.

Jordan Wilkins has seemingly, somewhat oddly, fallen out of favor in the backfield.

Nyheim Hines is being used much more as a receiver.

And Robert Turbin’s 2018 season is on hold after injuring his shoulder in his second game back from suspension.

For these reasons, there’s even more of an onus on Mack giving a lift to a virtually dead Colts’ run game.

Sunday offered a glimpse of why the Colts are so high on what a healthy Mack can provide this offense.