Colts Considering Placing RB Jonathan Taylor On NFI

9:45pm: The craziness continues straight out of the workhorse’s mouth as Taylor has weighed in himself on the recent reports, tweeting out that he “never had a back pain” and “never reported a back pain.”

This could be a case of reporters running amok with a story that got out of hand without confirmations or reliable sources. It could also be some damage control from Taylor, who likely realizes the financial ramifications of being placed on the NFI list.

If Taylor’s refutation is false, one would assume there would be medical records from the team’s training staff noting the back pain as a concern. And, in order to move him to the NFI list, one would assume there would need to be documentation detailing that it happened away from the team.

If Taylor never did report back pain, this could be an inside look at the tactics the team is willing to go to in order to gain leverage in a negotiation in which it already has all the power. Speculation aside, Taylor’s response through unmediated channels is further confirmation that this relationship may be deteriorating beyond repair. And fast.

8:30pm: In a wild continuation of a situation seemingly full of pettiness, the Colts have reportedly considered placing star running back Jonathan Taylor on the non-football injury list, according to Mike Chappell of FOX59/CBS4 Sports. Things have gotten rather contentious between Taylor and the organization lately, and if the team were to pull off this transaction, the situation would only get rockier.

Taylor has been involved in the recent conversations pertaining to the decline of the running back market, and anticipating his future active role in the situation, Taylor made it clear that he wants to begin discussions on a new deal with Indianapolis. With team owner Jim Irsay making it clear that no extension offer has been made yet, nor does he have any current intention to offer an extension, Taylor formally requested a trade. Irsay has planted his heels in the ground, expecting Taylor to honor his rookie contract, but with no indication of good faith negotiations, Taylor felt the need to stay ahead of the eight ball.

Currently, Taylor is on the team’s physically unable to perform list. He’s still rehabilitating from an ankle surgery he underwent in January, and he came into training camp complaining of back pain. Because he began experiencing the back pain while working out on his own in Arizona, it was deemed to be a pre-existing issue, stemming from outside organized football activities. This grants the team the option of moving Taylor from the PUP list to the NFI list.

That may not seem super significant as you continue to see PUP and NFI placements here and there on our Minor NFL Transactions posts, but in a volatile situation in which money is a key point of contention, this move would be a clear escalation from the Colts’ brass. Once the season begins, if a player remains on the PUP list, the team continues to pay that player for time missed. If a player is instead on the NFI list, having suffered an injury away from team-organized events, the team is able to withhold any amount of pay it chooses, up to the player’s full base salary.

According to Nick Korte of, it may not end there. The current collective bargaining agreement reportedly “opens up a path for his contract to be tolled,” something only available for NFI players in a contract year. Taylor can avoid this by returning to action by the sixth game of the regular season. The CBA also “opens up a path (for Taylor) to fail to accrue a season in 2023.” This would mean that, instead of entering the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, he would be a restricted free agent.

Moving Taylor to the NFI becomes an immediate message to the young running back: Not only are we not sure we want to pay you in the future, we’re not even sure we want to pay you now. A year removed from having led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, it seems insane to be this dismissive to a player asking to work towards a future together. The team has yet to make the move, but it’s become clear that the two sides are nowhere near a path that leads to resolution anytime soon.

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