Colts’ Jonathan Taylor Addresses Potential Extension, Recovery

The 2022 season was one to forget for the Colts, especially on the offensive side of the ball. An underwhelming year from running back Jonathan Taylor has led to questions about his standing with the team beyond 2023, but he remains squarely focused on the immediate future.

The 24-year-old was limited to 11 games this past season and ended the year on IR due to an ankle injury. He underwent surgery to address the issue, which should help his chances of rebounding in 2023. Taylor posted 1,004 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in his relatively brief action in 2022, but he was held to a career-worst 4.5 yards per carry.

That marked a disappointing step back from his performance the year prior. Taylor led the league in rushing yards (1,811) and touchdowns (18) in 2021, which seemed to put him on track for a major extension as early as this offseason. His inability to replicate that success – not to mention his injury problems, and the lack of positional value for tailbacks around the league – could hurt the value of his second contract, however. When asked if extension talks have taken place yet, the former second-rounder declined to get into specifics.

“I don’t even know that goes,” Taylor said, via Joel Erickson of the Indy Star, adding, “I’ll keep you posted.” The Wisconsin product has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and a fifth-year option won’t be in play since he was selected after the first round. Given his status as one the team’s best young performers, a new deal would likely be a priority, but the possibility of heading into 2023 without an extension isn’t seen as a detriment at this point.

“It wouldn’t be a distraction to me,” he said. “I’m under contract here for four years, I put the pen to the paper, so that’s where I’m at right now. I have an obligation to them, and an obligation to me, but things will happen naturally.”

As expected, this year’s free agent RB class was unable to land much in the way of lucrative deals on the open market. While Taylor (when healthy) is in a class above those who didn’t receive franchise tags in March, he could be hard-pressed to secure a second contract placing him amongst the highest-paid backs in the league. In the absence of an extension, a strong 2023 campaign would help his bargaining position, something which would be possible with a return to full health.

On that point, Taylor noted that he has yet to be fully cleared to resume all football activities as his recovery continues. He described his surgery as a “perfect success,” though, and remains confident that he will be at 100% by the time the 2023 season kicks off. If the team matches that optimism, a new deal may be in place by that point keeping him on the books for years to come.

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