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Colts RB Jonathan Taylor Expected to Sit Out Entire Preseason, Says HC Frank Reich

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 14, 2022

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is highly unlikely to see any action during the preseason.

According to Nate Atkins of the Indianapolis Star, Colts head coach Frank Reich confirmed as much Saturday, saying, "That's really what [general manager] Chris [Ballard] and I talked about. I can't see that changing for any reason."

Taylor didn't play in the Colts' 27-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills in their preseason opener on Saturday, and given his importance to the offense's success in 2022, he almost certainly won't play the next two weeks against the Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers either.

The Colts are clearly hoping to keep Taylor fresh and healthy for the regular season, which will commence for them on Sept. 11 when they face the Houston Texans on the road in Week 1.

Following a productive collegiate career at Wisconsin, the Colts selected Taylor in the second round of the NFL draft. He made a major impact as a rookie with 1,169 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns, but last season represented his ascension to elite status.

Taylor started all 17 games last season and led the NFL in carries (332), rushing yardage (1,811) and rushing touchdowns (18), while also doing damage in the passing game with 40 catches for 360 yards and two scores.

As a result, Taylor was named a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro for the first time, plus he finished second to Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp in the Offensive Player of the Year voting.

Despite Taylor's dominance, the Colts went just 9-8 and missed the playoffs, as they blew chances to clinch in Weeks 17 and 18 with losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Quarterback Carson Wentz was the scapegoat for Indy's failures down the stretch, which led to him getting traded to the Washington Commanders. The Colts replaced him with longtime Atlanta Falcons signal-caller and 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan.

Still, Taylor will be the centerpiece of the Colts offense in 2022, and that is why he was one of the few offensive starters who didn't play Saturday.

With Taylor out, third-down back Nyheim Hines got the start against Buffalo, plus Phillip Lindsay, Ty'Son Williams, CJ Verdell, Deon Jackson and D'vonte Price saw plenty of snaps.

Since Taylor and Hines are essentially locked into their roles, the Colts will likely spend the final two preseason games determining the best fit for the No. 3 and perhaps No. 4 running back spots on the final roster.

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