Jonathan Taylor’s injury has been far more impactful to Colts than anyone imagined

With Jonathan Taylor missing the last two games with injury, it’s clear that the Indianapolis Colts need their star running back for the team’s playoff push.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

When it was announced that the Indianapolis Colts would be without Jonathan Taylor for a few weeks because of a thumb injury that required surgery, everyone was obviously disappointed. Taylor had just rounded into form, and the Colts were on a roll. However, there wasn’t necessarily a sense of devastation for a couple of reasons. For starters, Taylor’s timeline was just two to five weeks. Additionally, Indy still had Zack Moss, who had been dominant all season.

Taylor missed the first four games of the season and that allowed Zack Moss to have a breakout moment. After the first five weeks, Moss had the second-most rushing yards in all of the NFL. Even once Taylor reclaimed the RB1 spot, Moss was contributing, giving Indy a great 1-2 punch. The expectation was that Moss would hold things down until Taylor recovered from thumb surgery.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. In the two games since Taylor’s injury, Moss and the Colts have struggled to run the ball.

Colts haven’t been able to run the ball since losing Jonathan Taylor

In Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans, Indy ran the ball 23 times for just 55 yards. Moss had 19 carries for 51 yards. Despite a lackluster day on the ground, Indianapolis pulled out a 31-28 overtime victory. However, the Colts weren’t so lucky in their Week 14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Falling 34-14, Indy had 18 rushes for 46 yards. Moss had 13 of those carries for just 28 yards.

Obviously, this isn’t all on Moss. The offensive line hasn’t carved open the same kind of lanes and the offense as a whole has struggled. However, everyone knows that Jonathan Taylor is simply a different running back. He has shown the ability to consistently make something out of nothing. Taylor turns short gains into chunk runs. Every carry has home-run potential.

The quicker Taylor can recover and return the field, the quicker Indy’s offense can get back on track. It’s still unclear when exactly that will happen. Taylor didn’t practice ahead of the game against Cincinnati, but Shane Steichen made it seem like he was close to a return. Everyone will be monitoring the injury report to see if Taylor can return in Week 15.