Colts: Poor running game vs Vikings shows offensive line in deep trouble

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 21: Jordan Wilkins #20 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 21: Jordan Wilkins #20 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts might have moved to 2-0 this preseason after they took down the Minnesota Vikings in a close 12-10 game, but this was one of those games where very few fans will walk away and feel confident about the team’s performance. It felt like you needed workers’ comp to get through it.

Sam Ehlinger was intercepted twice, one of which was a pick-six, and those two errant throws bring his total up to three in just 28 preseason passes. Jacob Eason avoided those picks and appeared to be in command of the offense, but looked much less accurate than he did against Carolina.

One of the more concerning aspects of this game was the running attack, as the absence of Jonathan Taylor showed that if their second-year star has to miss time, this team will be completely lost when it comes to picking up yards on the ground. This isn’t entirely on the running backs, however.

The Colts carried the ball 32 times, but they amassed just 86 rushing yards and never had a run longer than 10 yards. With three starting offensive linemen on the mend and the backups doing little to cement themselves as players that need to be taken seriously, this is a recipe for disaster.

The Colts’ offensive line and running game were poor.

The well-documented battle between Sam Tevi and Will Holden at left tackle failed to come to any sort of solid resolution, as both players continue to look uneven. Chris Reed looked decent while filling in for Quenton Nelson, who is currently hampered by a bad foot, but Joey Hunt has some poor moments filling in for Ryan Kelly.

The backs suffered as a result. When Jordan Wilkins’ five carries for 20 yards was the best performance of the day, that’s concerning. Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack combined for just 27 rushing yards, and Benny LeMay totaled just 13 yards despite being given 11 carries.

There is some hope for the Colts. Kelly appears to be on the path to a return in Week 1, and Nelson appears to be trending towards playing in that same season opener against the Seahawks. These reinforcements are needed in the worst way after a very subpar performance against Minnesota.

The offensive line figures to be a huge part of why a healthy Colts team has the ability to unseat the rival Titans at the top of the division, and the Vikings game went to show what happens to the offense when that unit is decimated with injuries.

Hopefully, studs like Nelson and Kelly can get back into the lineup as soon as possible, as giving Eason, Ehlinger, or Carson Wentz a running game like that could spell doom.