After an awe-inducing sophomore season in which he led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns, Taylor’s third year in the league has not gone according to plan. He started off hot with a 161-yard day in the team’s season-opening tie with the Texans but quickly cooled off as the offense dealt with growing pains and he dealt with an ankle injury.
Th ankle injury would force Taylor to miss two straight games in October. In his second game back from the injury absence, Taylor aggravated the right ankle during a loss to the Commanders. The injury that has already caused him to miss two games already could continue to hurt the Colts. Despite ruling Taylor out for this game, head coach Frank Reich has no plans to place him on injured reserve, according to Zak Keefer of The Athletic. The injury appears to be a week-to-week issue that the Colts want flexibility in dealing with for now.
With Taylor out, Jackson will get another chance to lead the Colts’ rushing attack. In two weeks without Taylor so far this year, Jackson has earned a combined 104 rushing yards and a touchdown, adding 14 catches for 108 yards through the air. The offense stands to look a bit different with Sam Ehlinger playing quarterback in place of Matt Ryan, but Jackson still figures to earn the lion’s share of the carries.
Although the Colts were able to acquire former Bills running back Zack Moss when trading away Nyheim Hines, Moss has only been with the team a couple of days and likely won’t have a very good grasp of the offense. Indianapolis is expected to elevate practice squad running back Phillip Lindsay for Sunday’s matchup in Foxborough, as they did the previous two games without Taylor. Lindsay contributed in his Colts debut with 11 carries for 40 yards but was relegated to a lesser role the following week, only carrying the ball three times for seven yards.
Giving Moss more time to practice and learn the offense may eventually dull the need for Lindsay, but for now, the Colts’ rushing offense will rely on the legs of Jackson and Lindsay as long as Taylor is out. As long as Taylor remains a week-to-week case, this will continue to be the gameplan.
Jonathan Taylor‘s Week 5 absence will leave a gaping void on the Colts’ offense. Ahead of the team’s Broncos clash, the Colts will elevate a veteran presence to help fill it.
Former Broncos 1,000-yard rusher Phillip Lindsay will make his Colts debut Thursday night, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com noting (via Twitter) the veteran running back will be elevated from Indianapolis’ practice squad. This will be Lindsay’s first matchup against his hometown team since the Broncos rescinded his RFA tender in 2021.
The Colts signed Lindsay this offseason, continuing the former Broncos starter’s post-Denver AFC tour, but released him as they cut their roster down to 53. The team kept Lindsay on its practice squad.
Lindsay played for the Texans and Dolphins last season, but his performance was well off the pace he set during his time in Denver. Lindsay is the NFL’s only UDFA to begin a career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, but the Broncos opted not to extend him and instead paid up to replace the ex-Colorado Buffalo.
The player the Broncos brought in to effectively replace Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, is expected to take over for Javonte Williams as a starter Thursday. Williams is out for the season with ACL and LCL tears. Gordon signed a two-year, $16MM deal with the Broncos in 2020 and re-signed on a one-year, $2.5MM accord this offseason. The former first-round pick, however, leads all running backs with 11 fumbles since that 2020 season. Gordon’s lost fumble in Week 4 proved incredibly costly in the Broncos’ loss to the Raiders, putting the eighth-year back on thin ice with his current team.
As for the Colts, they have passing-down back Nyheim Hines likely set for a bigger role. Hines is not exactly a one-for-one Taylor replacement — as if that were easy to find — and backup Deon Jackson has logged 15 career carries (for 28 yards) since joining the Colts as a 2021 UDFA. Lindsay, 28, figures to complement Hines in his Denver return tonight. This will be Taylor’s first missed game due to injury dating back to his high school days, though he did miss a 2020 Colts game after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Lindsay quickly became a starter in Denver and earned Pro Bowl acclaim as a rookie. He followed that 1,037-yard season up with a 1,011-yard 2019 slate, but the Broncos’ Pat Shurmur OC hire led to the Gordon agreement. Gordon’s deal scuttled Lindsay extension talks, which were rumored early that offseason. Lindsay did not fare as well in 2020, losing time to Gordon and missing games due to injury. The Broncos gave Lindsay the low-end RFA tender in 2021, but a mutual separation soon ensued. Lindsay did not stand out with the Texans or Dolphins, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on 88 totes last year.
September 6th, 2022 at 12:45pm CST by Sam Robinson
Phillip Lindsay was not part of the Colts’ initial 53-man roster, but the team still has the former 1,000-yard rusher in its plans. The veteran back returned to the team on a practice squad deal Tuesday.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the NFL to expand its taxi squads to 16 players (up to six vested veterans), vets have increasingly been added as stashes. Lindsay, a Colts cut last week, is the latest accomplished performer to land on a P-squad. He gives the Colts an option behind Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson.
Indianapolis cutting Jackson, a 2021 UDFA, would have exposed him to waivers. Lindsay has sufficient service time to pass to free agency. Signed midway through the offseason, Lindsay is on his fourth NFL team. The former Broncos UDFA addition spent the 2021 season with the Texans and Dolphins.
Going into his age-28 season, Lindsay has seen his value dip since his Denver days. The only UDFA in NFL history to begin his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Lindsay went from 2020 Broncos extension talks to being moved out of his starting role once the team gave Melvin Gordon an $8MM-per-year deal in March of that year. The Broncos then rescinded a Lindsay low-end RFA tender in 2021, leading him to Houston.
Lindsay rushed for just 249 yards with the Texans and Dolphins last season (2.8 per carry), though neither team’s offensive line was particularly good in 2021. The Colts would seemingly offer a better setup, but the fifth-year veteran will not be in an immediate position to contribute. The Colts now have two running backs on their P-squad; Lindsay joins rookie UDFA D’Vonte Price.
The biggest stories of the day for the Colts come in the linebacking corps. In addition to adding star linebacker Leonard off the PUP, Indianapolis acquired second-year player Grant Stuardin a trade with Tampa Bay today. Stuard was primarily a special teamer with the Buccaneers last year, playing in every game as a rookie. He’ll go from one stacked linebacker room to another, likely backing up Leonard upon his arrival.
The Colts have quite an interesting rookie class. A sixth-round defensive tackle, Brooks is the only drafted rookie not to make the final roster besides sixth-round tight end Andrew Ogletree who will start his NFL career on injured reserve. None of this is spectacular, though. The interesting part is that Indianapolis will roster four undrafted rookies to start the 2022 NFL season.
Former SMU safety Trevor Denbow finds his way onto the initial 53 after leading the NFL this preseason with five special teams tackles. Cornerback Dallis Flowers can also thank his special teams value as his athleticism was supplemented by a 53-yard kickoff return to help him make the team out of Pitt State. Former Cornhusker JoJo Domann joins Leonard and Stuard in the linebackers room. And the French-Fries offensive line combination stays alive as Wesley French makes the final roster out of Western Michigan.
There were a number of other players who have special teams’ ability to thank for their roster spot in addition to Denbow and Flowers. Running back Deon Jackson played on all punt/kick return/coverage units for the Colts last year, earning him a tightly contested roster spot over Lindsay and Williams. Cornerback Tony Brown was the team’s highest-graded special teams player in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus, and safety Rodney Thomas II played the third-most special teams snaps on the team.
Finally, the biggest performer of the Colts’ preseason was likely quarterback Sam Ehlinger whose stellar preseason led Indianapolis to roster three quarterbacks going into the season. The former-Longhorn’s impressive preseason play helped him earn a spot on the initial roster despite the Colts already rostering starter Matt Ryan and one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks in Nick Foles.
The Colts will have the opportunity tomorrow to announce any moves to form their 16-man practice squad. Players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the team.
Phillip Lindsay faced a crowded running back room in Indianapolis, and will now look to find a home elsewhere. The Colts are releasing the veteran, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
The 28-year-old enjoyed an historic start to his career with the Broncos. With back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, he was in line to make the ascent from UDFA to unquestioned lead back. Things changed starting in 2020, however, and Lindsay found himself in Houston by the start of last season.
The Colorado alum started just one of 10 games with the Texans before being waived by the rebuilding team. He was claimed by the Dolphins, as Miami looked for veteran options to improve their struggling ground game. In four games in South Beach, Lindsay averaged just 3.1 yards per carry, leading to his modest one-year deal with the Colts.
Even at the time of that signing, it was clear that he would face tough competition for snaps. Indianapolis boats one of the league’s premier workhorses in Jonathan Taylor, along with a backup in Nyheim Hineswho is in line for a significant pass-catching role. With Lindsay out of the picture, Deon Jacksonfigures to occupy the No. 3 spot that the pair were competing for.
The move will save the Colts $970K in cap space, though the team was in better shape than most from a financial perspective entering today. Lindsay will now hit free agency, and look to navigate the market for another opportunity to serve a rotational role, and in turn, rebuild his value.
Running back Phillip Lindsayhas found a new home. The veteran’s agent confirmed (on Twitter) Tuesday that he is signing with the Colts on a one-year deal.
Lindsay, who will be 28 by the start of the season, burst onto the scene during his inaugural season in 2018. He topped 1,000 rushing yards and scored 10 total touchdowns as a rookie. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the second time the following campaign, becoming the first UDFA in league history to do so.
Things changed dramatically after that, however. Competing with Melvin Gordonin the Broncos’ backfield, Lindsay’s workload was significantly reduced. He totalled just 502 rushing yards, albeit at a respectable rate of 4.3 yards per carry. Given the team’s commitment to Gordon (and its decision to draft Javonte Williams), it wasn’t a surprise when they rescinded Lindsay’s RFA tender, allowing him to depart in free agency.
That led him to Houston on a one-year deal to rebuild his value. He joined a backfield crowded by veterans David Johnsonand Mark Ingram, and failed to produce at the level he was expecting. Having received only 50 carries in 10 games with the Texans, he found himself on waivers after the trade deadline.
The Dolphins claimed him, attempting to boost their underwhelming run game. While he saw a small uptick in terms of snap percentage in Miami, Lindsay didn’t do enough to garner interest in him as a starter this offseason. Now, he will join a Colts team already set at the top of the RB depth chart with Jonathan Taylorand Nyheim Hines. He is set to compete withDeon Jacksonand a number of 2022 UDFAs for the No. 3 role.