Colts: Marlon Mack talking recovery from Achilles shows he’s ready for 2021
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts promised fans a three-headed backfield of Jonathan Taylor, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines in 2020, but those plans came off the rails after Mack went down with what was ultimately diagnosed as a torn Achilles in Week 1 against the Jaguars.
While Taylor and Hines proved capable of carrying the load, the Colts still decided to take a one-year flyer on Mack to add more balance to their backfield.
It remains to be seen what kind of role Mack will have following the devastating injury, but the latest buzz at training camp indicates he looks close to 100% healthy, which is absolutely incredible when you consider Achilles tears typically have a 10-12 month recovery.
That proves Mack has been grinding all offseason. With a light finally at the end of this dark, adversity-filled tunnel, the 2017 fourth-rounder opened up on his rehab process and why he decided to stay in Indianapolis during his recovery to mentor the team’s RBs.
Marlon Mack’s latest comments prove he’s ready for the 2021 season.
"“I’d say my body, just getting my legs right,” Mack said. “Each day, you feel this and that. But just going out there, getting used to guys flowing around, getting used to practicing with guys, because I was with bags in the summer, now I’m going with guys who are moving 100% and aren’t stationary.”"
After spending the past several months building strength back in his leg, it’ll probably take some time for Mack to fully trust the Achilles with defenders flying at him at training camp.
That’s a difficult adjustment period, however, that paled in comparison to Mack staying behind in Indianapolis to receive treatment before surgery. The 25-year-old discussed accepting the inevitable while also watching his teammates get ready for games.
The most telling revelation? Mack admitted that the reason he stayed with the Colts post operation was to “avoid depression.” Being around the team every day was what he needed to motivate himself to dominate rehab and get back out there with his brothers.
"“That first week before I had surgery was tough. Going in there every day, getting treatment, watching guys get ready for the next week, it was tough. But after that week, I got all my tears out.“I’d say to avoid depression. If you go home. … I was playing football every day. It’s something I love, and just love being around. Even though I wasn’t able to play, just going in the training room, seeing guys faces, how happy they were, it just helps you. You don’t want to go home and be by yourself.”"
After having trouble finding suitors in free agency following the injury, Mack expressed how grateful he is that the Colts re-signed him. While the injury might have cost him his starting job, the fifth-year pro is clearly out to prove he deserves a long-term future in Indy.
We’ll certainly be rooting for him.