Superstar RB Jonathan Taylor has been informally banned from the Indianapolis Colts‘ facility after Monday’s latest update to the COVID-19 reserve list.
Regrettably, we’re now entering dangerous territory, and Indianapolis can ill afford to lose their best player after Darius Leonard’s disappearance before Saturday’s game, combined with the now-total decimation of the once-vaunted offensive line.
Entering Week 16 ahead of their battle with the Arizona Cardinals, the top of the Colts’ offensive line depth chart consisted of LT Eric Fisher, LG Quenton Nelson, C Ryan Kelly, RG Mark Glowinski, and RT Braden Smith.
Entering Week 17? Not a single one of those players will assuredly be active to face off against the Las Vegas Raiders for various reasons.
Smith became the latest Colt to suffer an affliction, hitting the COVID list on Monday morning alongside four of his teammates.
RT Braden Smith hits the COVID Reserve list, as the Colts’ Offensive Line Depth Chart takes another massive hit.
So … will any of these guys play on Sunday against the resurgent Raiders?
Eric Fisher remains questionable after limping off the field with a knee injury midway through Saturday night’s game. The worst performer among the starting unit, he’s certainly the player Colts fans are holding their breath about the least right now.
Kelly is currently out not with COVID, but as he takes time to deal with a personal matter. The team will certainly not rush him back; he’ll return whenever he’s ready and feels comfortable with managing the pain of the tragedy he and his wife just suffered.
Glowinski, Nelson and now Smith will likely not get cleared by Sunday, even as the league’s protocols continue to shift. If any of them are asymptomatic and vaccinated, they’ll have to return fewer negative tests in order to be activated. It’s still difficult to imagine any of them going through the entire process in eight days (for Nelson) or fewer.
That leaves Indianapolis with Chris Reed, who left Saturday’s game with a back issue before ultimately returning, alongside Julién Davenport, Will Fries, Matt Pryor, and Carter O’Donnell … as well as potentially a hardship signing yet to come? Add in the early-game loss of Jack Doyle, the team’s best run-blocking tight end, to injury, and Taylor might really have to show off his MVP form in order to get anything done this weekend.