As the first week of the season officially arrives for the Indianapolis Colts, they’ll be diving into Week 1 without the services of star running back Jonathan Taylor, who begins the campaign on the reserve/PUP list.
However long Taylor will be absent isn’t exactly clear, but the Colts are preparing to use everyone available until the next step in the process of that saga is taken.
Head coach Shane Steichen said Monday that the plan is to use a committee in Taylor’s absence.
“I think it’s running back by committee, I do,” Steichen told reporters. “With anything, whoever’s got the hot hand – let them ride a little bit and go with that. We’ll rotate those guys in, see where everyone is at and like I said, we’ll ride with the hot hand.”
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Colts are hardly the first team to implement a committee when the starter isn’t available. How that committee will be shaped is the question.
Entering Tuesday of the game week, the Colts currently have three running backs on the active. However, Zack Moss is still working his way back from the broken arm he suffered during training camp. That leaves just Deon Jackson and fifth-round pick Evan Hull as the available backs for Week 1 if Moss can’t play.
Steichen had somewhat of an update on Moss without revealing whether the back will be ready for the opener.
“Our training staff has done a heck of a job with him. Whether it’s on the treadmill or whatever it is, on the bike, getting his conditioning ready to go,” Steichen said. “Obviously, he hasn’t been in football out there with the guys running around but that’ll be a big process, which he’s been going through and then getting up to speed this week.”
The Colts did hold tryouts for a trio of running backs so there’s a chance they add some depth to the backfield in the event Moss can’t play Week 1. They also have Jake Funk and Jason Huntley on the practice squad.
With the first injury report of the season coming Wednesday, we’ll get a better idea of Moss’ status going into the opener. Regardless, we should expect a full-blown committee for however long Taylor is away from the field.