Colts: List of running back Achilles comebacks spells doom for Marlon Mack
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts had one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL last season, and it only figures to get better in 2021.
After all, you have to think Jonathan Taylor will have a more balanced campaign after he struggled to find his footing out of the gates. For context, outside of a Week 2 breakout performance, the rookie didn’t manage more than 68 rushing yards in a game until Week 10.
Assuming Taylor starts hot, the Colts’ running game will be lethal, and the dynamism of Nyheim Hines, who posted career highs as a runner last year, and Marlon Mack, who re-signed on a one-year deal, will make it even more formidable.
Having said that, we can’t help but wonder how effective Mack will be coming off a torn Achilles, which ended his season in Week 1 vs Jacksonville.
Though all reports indicate Mack is making a smooth recovery and should be ready for training camp, the history of RBs coming back from that injury doesn’t bode well.
Get a load of this graphic, Colts fans, because it’s horrifying.
Colts fans should probably temper expectations for Marlon Mack.
That’s right, folks. Former Texas star D’Onta Foreman is the only success story and he’s logged just 29 carries since his Achilles injury. Sure, outside of Arian Foster, none of those players had any star appeal during their careers, but does that carry any weight here?
Probably not. What’s equally chilling? That most of those running backs, Earnest Graham and Foster notwithstanding, were in their primes when they suffered the injury. The shelf life on RBs isn’t long at all, but let’s not pretend 26 is the new 28 or 29.
For every damning statistic out there, there’s always room for an outlier and Colts fans will be hoping Mack will prove to be that singular force. However, while he might not be out of the league like every player on that list, it’s worth speculating if his days as a No. 1-type back are over.
We hate to even think about that, as Mack was sneakily one of the most efficient tailbacks between 2018 and 2019, tallying 1,999 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on a respectable 4.5 yards per carry, while adding 31 receptions for 185 and an additional score through the air.
But what else are we supposed to think? If nothing else, fans in Indy should feel relieved the backfield has Taylor and Hines to pick up the slack in case Mack struggles. Whatever ends up happening, let’s hope Mack proves every doubter wrong and shoves this list where the sun doesn’t shine this season.