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PFF projects who Colts’ RB2 will be behind Jonathan Taylor

The competition this summer at Colts’ training camp for the backup running back role behind Jonathan Taylor will be one of the more intriguing battles to take place.

On the outside, there is already a differing in opinions when it comes to who is going to win that role.

Mike Clay of ESPN recently put together 2024 stat projections for each NFL team, and second on the Colts in carries and yards was Trey Sermon.

However, over at PFF, who recently put together its starting lineup projections for each team, they had Tyler Goodson listed behind Taylor.

In the little that we saw of Goodson last season, he showcased some juice with the ball in his hands, averaging 6.7 yards per rush on 13 carries. He also caught six passes for 34 yards–although one of those targets included a crucial dropped pass on fourth down in Week 18 against Houston.

Competing with Goodson will be Sermon as well as Evan Hull, who missed most of his rookie season with an injury. The Colts could have made an outside addition to the running back room in free agency or through the draft but chose not to, with GM Chris Ballard mentioning that he liked the depth of this position group.

Also, for what it’s worth, the first two names Ballard mentioned when discussing the backup running back position were Sermon and Hull.

“We got some young guys that came in, and Trey (Sermon) did a really good job when he came in and played for us last year,” said Ballard. “So we got some guys on the roster that we like. We get (Evan) Hull back. Hull’s healthy, we get him back, so we get to see what he can do and he showed us some good signs last year.”

Overall, this is a fairly inexperienced group behind Taylor, which is perhaps a reason why PFF suggested that this is a position that the Colts should still try to add to.

Between Sermon, Hull, and Goodson, the trio have just 92 combined carries in their careers, with Sermon accounting for 78 of them. In the passing game, these three have only 20 total targets.

Throughout the years, the backup running back has become increasingly important as teams grow more mindful of the workload they ask their lead-backs to handle.

In 2023, Zach Moss – who is now in Cincinnati – totaled nearly 800 yards and seven scores. Between a fully healthy version of Taylor and whoever RB2 ends up being, that’s a good chunk of production that will have to be replaced.

The running game for the Colts will play an important role in taking some of the pressure off of Anthony Richardson. Success on early downs opens up the playbook and keeps the offense out of predictable passing situations. It also helps to further stress opposing defenses through play-action and RPO opportunities.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire