Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will return to practice this week: INDIANOPOLIS — Jonathan Taylor, an All-Pro running back for the Colts, can come back from the physically unable to perform list as of Monday. He will start training with the team again on Wednesday, and coach Shane Steichen said he could play as soon as Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Taylor has been on the reserve-PUP list since Week 1, which means he can’t play or practice with the Colts for the first four weeks of the season. Taylor has up to 21 days to practice and be reviewed by the Colts before he has to be added to the 53-man roster.
Steichen said he had a good talk with Taylor, who had been upset with the team because they wouldn’t give him a new deal and had previously asked to be traded. Steichen said, “He’s very happy to be back with his team, and I’m excited to have him.”
Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will return to practice this week
When asked if Taylor might play against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Steichen said, “Could be, yes.”
Taylor hasn’t played or trained with the Colts since he hurt his right ankle again on December 17 and was put on injured reserve. He didn’t play for the Colts during their summer program, and when he went to training camp in July, he said his ankle still hurt.
Since then, Taylor has been working out with the team’s rehab staff, and his workouts have been getting harder recently.
“He’s in good shape,” said Steichen. “Putting on the pads and training is a different story when it comes to conditioning. I know he hasn’t played football in a long time, so we’ll see how practice goes this week, how he feels when he puts on the pads, and then go from there.”
In recent months, there has been a lot of bad blood between the two sides. Taylor has been asked to leave the building after his morning rehab sessions, and he hasn’t been to any of the team’s home or away games. This makes it seem unlikely that things can be fixed. But Steichen said he was hopeful about that.
“The talks I’ve had with him during this whole thing have been great,” Steichen said. “I’ll keep those to myself, but it’s clear that he’s in a good place. I talked to him the other day, and I talked to him again today. He can’t wait to get back to his team.”
Taylor never changed his mind about wanting to be traded, and he is still upset that the team won’t extend his deal, which runs out at the end of this season. It’s not clear if the door is still open for either a new deal or a trade. Taylor hasn’t talked to the press since June, when he first said he didn’t like the way his deal was set up.
But the Colts seem to be playing as if they expect the 2021 rushing leader to be back soon. They have potential rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson in the backfield with them.
Steichen said of Taylor, “He’s been putting in a lot of hard work with his rehab.” “He’s in a good mood.” He also said, “We’ll have to see where he is. If he feels good, we’ll put him in the mix.”
In his first year with the Colts, Steichen has never put Taylor in the starting lineup. But he has seen movies of Taylor and knows what he might get if he comes back.
“He’s a big-time player,” said Steichen. “He is dangerous. When he knows where the hole is, he can hit home runs. With his explosive speed, great vision, and power, he is without a question one of the best backs in this league.