An air of uncertainty hangs over the Indianapolis Colts these days, and it all centers around a single question: what will happen with Jonathan Taylor? The running back, currently the heart and soul of the Colts’ offense, is creating a stir among the fan base and affecting the NFL fantasy market. Colts owner Jim Irsay, who is renowned for his eccentricity and, arguably, managerial incompetency, finds himself in a difficult position (with his foot in his mouth).
As fantastic as the physically gifted Anthony Richardson is, he can’t be the sole carrier of the Colts’ offense. The quarterback has the ideal physical attributes needed for the role, but he lacks the experience. Richardson, despite his athletic prowess, needs the support of a balanced offense. This makes the role of Taylor even more vital, especially if Zack Moss falls to injury. The depth of the squad is not too reassuring, with Evan Hull next in line. Hull, a promising player who stole hearts at the combine with his habit of running every single catch to the end zone, still isn’t a proven game-changer in the league.
The genuine concern is this: Where are the Colts going without Taylor? The fantasy market already reflects this uncertainty, with Taylor moving from a late first-round pick to the second-round due to his unclear future. It’s reminiscent of the unease from the Le’Veon Bell year, where he was willing to sit out to make a stand for his worth.
The stand of running backs in the NFL is nothing new, and while it’s a pressing issue, it often resolves itself with negotiation and compromise. The Colts are responsible for ensuring a supportive environment for their young quarterback, Richardson. Without the likes of Taylor in the running game, the fan base may turn negative, a situation the Colts must avoid at all costs.
Taylor is young and, after an injury-riddled season, might have had a wake-up call. His agents likely advised him to ensure financial security before risking another potential injury, hence the current standoff.
In the grand scheme of things, the Colts need to support their significant investment in Richardson, and there’s no viable alternative to Taylor. Neither Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, nor Leonard Fournette would be a feasible or fitting replacement. The organization needs to provide Richardson with the best chance at success by ensuring a competent running game.
Since Andrew Luck‘s retirement, the Colts haven’t made a significant impact in the playoffs, and their future hinges on a successful Richardson-Taylor partnership. So, the question isn’t if the Colts need to figure things out with Taylor, but when. And that ‘when’ should be sooner rather than later for the good of the team and its future.
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