Is Jonathan Taylor’s confusing PUP designation by Colts really injury related?

• On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts placed running back Jonathan Taylor on the PUP list.

• This surprise move comes amid a contract saga with Taylor and other NFL running backs.

June 14, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) passes on
June 14, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) passes on / IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

When Jonathan Taylor had surgery earlier this offseason, he said he’d be ready to go for the 2023 season. Just a few weeks ago, Jim Irsay said on The Pat McAfee Show that Taylor was ready to roll. Additionally, when Chris Ballard spoke with the media about injured players on Tuesday, he named two players that were going on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, and neither of them were Jonathan Taylor.

That's why it was so shocking when the Colts announced that they were placing Taylor, along with Tyquan Lewis and Will Mallory, on the PUP list to start training camp. Naturally, the confusion led everyone to wonder if there was something else to the situation.

By something else, people wondered if this was related to Taylor’s ongoing contract situation in anyway.

Could Jonathan Taylor going on PUP be contract related?

The PUP list is about injuries, and Taylor is coming off an ankle surgery. It was reported that his time on the list should be brief, so it very well could be injury related. However, the random nature of the move, coupled with the contract, has people speculating.

It’s no secret that Taylor and the other running backs in the league are unhappy with the way the league is valuing elite running backs. Entering the final season of his rookie contract, the spotlight is now on Taylor as everyone waits to see how a possible extension is handled by the Colts.

On Tuesday morning, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Taylor was visibly frustrated in a recent zoom call with other running backs, where they discussed the current issue with their value. Rapoport also said that Taylor didn’t show up to Indy yet, but the Colts shared a picture of Taylor arriving minutes later.

That ended any speculation of what could be a costly hold out. However, it doesn’t mean that everything is all good either. Ballard wouldn’t say much about Taylor’s contract situation, other than that they planned to have a long talk on Tuesday. Of course, no one knows what that talk was about, but we do know that Taylor was surprisingly added to the PUP list on Tuesday evening.

As the Colts hit the practice field on Wednesday, everyone will now just wait to see how long Taylor’s stint on the PUP list is, if he’ll get extended before the 2023 season starts, and if the two are related in any way.