JONATHAN TAYLOR CONTINUES REHAB BUT REMAINS ON PUP LIST AS COLTS PREPARE FOR PRESEASON OPENER
WESTFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor did not attend practice Tuesday as he continues rehabbing from offseason ankle surgery while he continues to seek a contract extension or a trade.
Coach Shane Steichen did not provide a timetable for Taylor’s return though he said the hope was Taylor would practice before Indy concludes its workouts next week at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana, about a 30-minute drive from team headquarters.
While he has spent the past two weeks on the physically unable to perform list, Taylor had been a regular around the field and in team meetings — until Tuesday, which prompted speculation about whether he was even at Indy’s training camp complex.
“This is part of his rehab process. If you guys don’t see him out here, it’s part of his rehab,” Steichen said before being asked whether Taylor was working onsite or at another venue. “I’ll refrain from getting into that.”
Steichen also has avoided talking about Taylor’s contract. The former New Jersey prep star is scheduled to make roughly $4.3 million this season, the final year on his rookie contract.
But Taylor is one of several prominent running backs who have publicly complained about how teams value running backs in today’s NFL. They believe the $10.1 million franchise tag, the lowest for any position other than punters and kickers, is far too low for players who often touch the ball hundreds of times per season and incur some of the most punishing hits.
Team owner Jim Irsay responded with a social media post in which he noted the league’s collective bargaining agreement was negotiated in good faith while contending agents are acting in bad faith. Taylor’s agent, Malki Kawa, wrote back it was bad faith not to re-sign the team’s top offensive player.
Following that flurry, Irsay and Taylor met for one hour on the owner’s motorhome while Taylor’s teammates practiced the first Saturday night of camp.
“It was just a good conversation and, you know, hopeful going forward,” Irsay said at the time. “We’re looking forward to a great season, hoping that Jonathan’s a big part of that and I think we had a good conversation.”
The trade request went public shortly after the meeting and Irsay then said he would not deal him before the season — or at the October trade deadline — and neither side has indicated anything has changed since that night.
Taylor topped the 2,000-yard mark twice in college at Wisconsin and rushed for 2,980 yards and 29 TDs in his first two NFL seasons. He was a unanimous All-Pro selection in 2021, when he led the league with 2,171 total yards and tied for the league lead in total touchdowns with 20.
Last season, though, he rushed for 861 yards despite missing six games with an ankle injury. Indy is hoping a healthy Taylor will be more productive in 2023 and will help the Colts rebound from a 4-12-1 record last season.
“I think he’s in a good spot, and we’re going from there,” Steichen said. “We’ll see how it all plays out though. Again, once he’s cleared, he’ll be out here.”
REPORT: HUNT FINISHES SAINTS VISIT, RECEIVES RICHER OFFER FROM COLTS
Free-agent running back Kareem Hunt will visit the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday after completing a visit with the New Orleans Saints, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The Colts offered Hunt more money before he worked out for the Saints, a source told Dianna Russini of ESPN. He was advised to leave New Orleans and visit Indianapolis.
New Orleans is looking to bolster its running back corps with Alvin Kamara suspended for the first three games of the season. It signed Jamaal Williams to a three-year deal this offseason and drafted Kendre Miller in the third round, though the TCU product is nursing a knee injury.
Indianapolis is also seeking additions to its running back room. Jonathan Taylor is rehabbing from an ankle injury and is embroiled in a public feud with owner Jim Irsay over his contract situation. Meanwhile, Zack Moss is out for six weeks with a broken arm.
Hunt spent the last four years with the Cleveland Browns. He has 1,106 touches for 5,831 yards in 76 career games.
COLTS RELEASE UNOFFICIAL DEPTH CHART PRESEASON WEEK 1 GAME VS. BUFFALO BILLS
A quick note before getting to the depth chart – head coach Shane Steichen has not said definitively how much he anticipates starters will play against the Buffalo Bills but said the team will begin to sort out playing time over the next couple of days.
Players in italics are on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.
On to the depth chart:
» WR: Michael Pittman Jr., Ashton Dulin, Breshad Perriman, Malik Turner
» LT: Bernhard Raimann, Arlington Hambright, Matthew Vanderslice
» LG: Quenton Nelson, Carter O’Donnell
» C: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter, Dakoda Shepley
» RG: Will Fries, Wesley French, Emil Ekiyor
» RT: Braden Smith, Blake Freeland, Dan Skipper
» TE: Mo Alie-Cox, Drew Ogletree, Will Mallory, Pharaoh Brown, Michael Jacobson
» TE: Kylen Granson, Jelani Woods, La’Micahel Pettway, Nick Eubanks
» WR: Isaiah McKenzie, Josh Downs, Amari Rodgers, Kody Case
» WR: Alec Pierce, Mike Strachan, Juwann Winfree, Vyncint Smith
» QB: Gardner Minshew or Anthony Richardson, Sam Ehlinger
» RB: Jonathan Taylor, Zack Moss, Deon Jackson, Evan Hull, Jake Funk, Zavier Scott, Kenyan Drake
- Throughout training camp practices, quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Anthony Richardson have alternated taking first-team reps.
- The starters along the offensive line are the same as it was to close out the 2022 regular season.
» DE: Kwity Paye, Tyquan Lewis, Genard Avery, Khalid Kareem
» DT: DeForest Buckner, Taven Bryan, McTelvin Agim
» NT: Grover Stewart, Eric Johnson II, Adetomiwa Adebawore, Caleb Sampson
» DE: Samson Ebukam, Dayo Odeyingbo, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Titus Leo
» WLB: Shaquille Leonard, E.J. Speed, Grant Stuard, Segun Olubi, Liam Anderson
» MLB: Zaire Franklin, Segun Olubi, Cameron McGrone, JoJo Domann, Donavan Mutin
» SAM: E.J. Speed, Cameron McGrone, JoJo Domann, Liam Anderson
» CB: Darrell Baker Jr., JuJu Brents, Kevin Toliver II, Isaac Taylor-Stuart
» FS: Rodney Thomas II, Henry Black, Marcel Dabo
» SS: Julian Blackmon, Nick Cross, Trevor Denbow, Aaron Maddox
» N: Kenny Moore II, Tony Brown, Chris Lammons, Michael Tutsie
» CB: Dallis Flowers, Darius Rush, Jaylon Jones
- On Tuesday, Tyquan Lewis was activated from the PUP list, which allowed him to practice with the team for the first time since training camp began.
- After seeing more and more reps throughout training camp, Shaquille Leonard began to take part in padded 11-on-11 drills this past weekend.
» P: Rigoberto Sanchez
» PK: Matt Gay, Lucas Havrisik
» H: Rigoberto Sanchez
» LS: Luke Rhodes
» KR: Dallis Flowers, Isaiah McKenzie
» PR: Isaiah McKenzie, Josh Downs