Colts’ RB Jonathan Taylor was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice after tweaking his already-injured ankle against the Commanders in Week 8.
It’s been a slow season for the 2021 rushing leader, as Taylor’s put up just 462 yards on the ground this season. He’s been slowed down by poor offensive line play and a series of lower body injuries that have the potential to cause problems for the remainder of the year.
Taylor first injured his ankle in Week 4 against the Titans. Initially, the fear was that he was dealing with a high ankle sprain but there was never any official confirmation from team staff. Regardless, he missed Week 5 and didn’t return to practice until Week 6.
Though it hasn’t been made clear exactly what Taylor’s initial ankle injury was, it’s safe to assume it was a sprain of some sort because x-rays came back negative for fractures. Ankle sprains are difficult to deal with for any position to deal with, however running backs – especially those of Taylor’s caliber – feel the effects more than most other position groups.
The ankle joint complex supports the majority of lower body movements that are required to be a successful, high-intensity running back. Every move – sprinting, cutting, jumping, juking – a running back makes, the ankle plays a crucial role. When compromised, the ankle’s mobility is limited in a way that makes most agility moves impossible to execute at a high rate of success.
Taylor aggravating the injury again in Week 8 implies it wasn’t fully healed when he returned in Week 7. In that game against the Titans, he looked good though, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Fast forward to Week 8 against the Commanders and he looked good again – until the injury occured.
Taylor got off to a strong start, carrying the ball five times for 38 yards, including a 27-yard run on a drive that set the Colts up for a field goal. That was Taylor’s final play before he left the game and was ruled out.
He then missed practice on Wednesday, with head coach Frank Reich explaining that Taylor “isn’t at 100%,” and the team doesn’t expect him to be at 100% for Week 9 either. It’s worth noting that Reich did not rule Taylor out.
Our algorithm calculates Taylor’s Injury Risk to be at 17%, which is considered Elevated but not High. His Health Performance Factor, though, is at 83%, which is Peak. For now, his metrics indicate he should be ready for Week 9, but given Taylor’s recent performances, it is possible we see him on a snap count if he does suit up.