Jonathan Taylor hasn’t been so bulletproof in Indianapolis. Initially promoted to the bell cow role in the Colts’ offense after starter Marlon Mack suffered a torn Achilles in the season opener, Taylor leads Indianapolis running backs in carries (106), yards (416), yards per carry (3.9) and touchdowns (4), but his playing time has been severely limited the past two weeks.
As the story pointed out, Taylor was forced into the bell cow roll after Mack went down, and even he wasn't expecting it. The story added Taylor has responded by working hard, impressing teammates and coaches with his work ethic, his preparation and his desire to live up to his draft billing and hasn't show any disappointed in his new time share. It's possible that work ethic could earn him his bell cow role back at some point this season, which is why the Colts are highly invested in him.
“He’s done everything that he needs to do,” Indianapolis running backs coach Tom Rathman said. “It’s just about getting experience. The more he gets, the better he’s going to be.”
Taylor's numbers have been pretty good the past four games the author pointed out. The rookie is the one keeping the rushing attack afloat right now, according to the story. Taylor has rushed 54 times for 244 yards over the past four games, a 4.5-per-carry average that dwarfs the rest of the running game. Over the same four-game span, backups Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines have produced just 107 yards on 39 carries, an ugly 2.7 yards per carry. Despite fumbling issues in college and not being known as a pass catcher, Taylor hasn't fumbled this season and is third on the team in receptions.
Even with Marlon Mack out, the presence of Jonathan Taylor, Jordan Wilkins (40 yards on nine carries Sunday) and this Colts offensive line, the five guys up front that have set the tone for this team ever since that turning point back in 2018.
The story said the Colts are looking to find their identity and running the ball could be it. One thing to note his Week 1 star Hines wasn't really involved in Week 2, catching just one ball for four yards. Instead it was Wilkins who was the backup to Taylor with his 9-40-0 line. For Taylor owners, Wilkens may end up being the handcuff to own with Hines playing more of a passing-down role.