Colts TE Jack Doyle’s early injury troubles make contract extension look even worse

Colts tight end Jack Doyle is dealing with injuries … again.

Heading into the 2020 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts had an arsenal at the tight end position. Not only were Jack Doyle and intriguing youngster Mo Alie-Cox already on the roster, but the team went out and signed former Eagles and Bears TE Trey Burton, who figured to be an influential part of the offense given his receiving skills.

Fast forward as we approach Week 2, and Burton will be out at least another week with a leg injury (and it could be longer) and now Doyle missed practice on Wednesday due to ankle and knee injuries. While the Colts have a lot of weapons on offense, the tight end room was expected to be impactful.

But perhaps the bigger story here is that Doyle is injured yet again. After seemingly embodying an iron man from 2013-2017 (he missed only two games over that span though he was only the starter in ’16 and ’17), he was limited to just six games in 2018 due to injuries and then regressed in 2019 without Andrew Luck.

And once again, questions about the Colts giving him that contract extension back in December of 2019 continue to surface.

The three-year, $21 million deal with another $3 million in incentives raises even more concern when you consider this decision was made after Luck’s retirement and amid a campaign when he managed just 43 catches for 448 yards and four touchdowns.

Plus, the Colts let Eric Ebron walk in free agency after the 2019 season (he battled injures himself and only appeared in 11 games). In 2018 when Doyle was injured, Ebron caught 66 passes for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. That’s better than any season Doyle’s had. Ebron then signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Steelers this offseason.

Why did the Colts pay all that money for a tight end entering his age-30 season who clearly regressed with not Andrew Luck under center? He’s got cap hits of $8.5 million, $5.85 million and $6.2 million from 2020-2022.

While cap space is not a problem for the Colts (they’ll have over $70 million this offseason), it’s hard to argue against the fact they could’ve probably used those funds a bit more wisely given the multitude of factors/information at their fingertips.