Colts really need to stop giving Jordan Wilkins meaningful carries

Colts RB Jordan Wilkins (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Colts RB Jordan Wilkins (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Colts continuing to give RB Jordan Wilkins carries each week is maddening.

Either the Indianapolis Colts weren’t scoreboard watching on Sunday or they just had an uncharacteristically sluggish game, because odds are they would have left Houston with a loss if not for a fumble by Deshaun Watson at the goal line with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

In a vacuum, the offense being unable to get anything going in the second half was to blame for the near-defeat as it went from looking unstoppable over the first 30 minutes to getting shut out in the second half (only points came from a safety).

The coaching staff made some questionable clock management decisions — like going for a 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter instead of kicking a field goal to take a comfortable seven-point lead — but nothing was more puzzling than watching Jordan Wilkins getting fed carries down the stretch.

After his latest lackluster performance, there’s simply no reason for him to be a part of the offensive game plan moving forward.

We get the Colts wanting to keep opposing defenses honest and that Wilkins hasn’t played much of a role lately, but the fact that he still gets a handful of carries each week makes zero sense, especially with rookie Jonathan Taylor seemingly hitting his stride. For context, the Wisconsin product totaled 135 yards from scrimmage on 8.4 yards per touch vs Houston.

Wilkins played just 13 snaps (19%) on Sunday, and that’s honestly 13 too many given how inconsistent he’s been since his breakout game vs Detroit back in Week 8. That game, he took 20 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown.

In the five weeks since, however, the 2018 fifth-round pick has logged 122 rushing yards (24.4 per game) on a bottom-barrel 3.5 yards per attempt. Seriously, what is the coaching staff seeing that we aren’t? Wilkins has this reputation for being a physical back and a short-yardage specialist, but he hasn’t been running hard and rarely breaks the first tackle.

Now THAT is what we call physical running — not whatever Wilkins has been doing.

The Colts’ backfield needs to be a two-man committee of Taylor and Nyheim Hines for the rest of the season, with the former receiving the bulk of the carries and the latter being utilized primarily as a pass catcher due to his limitations between the tackles. We don’t even hate the idea of getting the 2020 second-round pick, who had three receptions for 44 yards on Sunday, more involved in the passing game either.

Whatever Indianapolis’ plan is, we just need to see a lot less of Wilkins starting next week.