The Indianapolis Colts have ruled running back Jonathan Taylor out for Thursday’s game against the Denver Broncos.


INDIANAPOLIS – Things appear to be conspiring against Jonathan Taylor’s ironman streak.

The Indianapolis Colts’ All-Pro running back has yet to miss a game due to injury in the NFL or at the University of Wisconsin. He’s at 74 games and counting; he missed one game as a rookie in 2020 as a close-contact COVID-19 case.

The streak is in jeopardy after Taylor suffered an injury to his right ankle in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ Sunday loss to the Tennessee Titans. While his teammates were going through a walkthrough Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Thursday’s game at Denver, Taylor leaned against a golf cart with his foot in a protective boot.

Outwardly and mentally, he’s preparing to remain the catalyst for the Colts’ run game.

“I definitely do plan to play,’’ he said, “but if you can’t go, you can’t go. That’s why you’ve got to get as much treatment as you can.’’

Frank Reich was unable to shed any light on Taylor’s status.

“Still unknown at this point,’’ he said. “It’s an injury that is not ready to go right now, but we’ll see if he’s ready to go on Thursday night.

“We’ve got a plan if he does play, and we’ll be ready for that obviously. Hope he can play, but still no status yet.’’

Taylor’s uncertainty could result in the Colts elevating former Broncos’ standout Phillip Lindsay to the active roster from the practice squad. That’s even likely since a decision on Taylor might not be made until he tests the ankle during pregame warm-ups.

“Certainly a consideration,’’ Reich said.

The quick turnaround works against Taylor. He’ll get as much treatment as the short week allows.

“I’m definitely going to use as much time as I can in order to get treatment and get feeling as well as possible before you try to make any decision,’’ he said. “And I think that’s critical, especially on a short week.

“On a normal week, you’ve kind of got time. Just trying to push as much treatment as I can just to see how far I can go to feeling well before we have to take off.’’

Taylor plans on spending as much time with the team’s medical/training staff as possible, then see how the ankle responds in warm-ups prior to Thursday’s game.

“Oh, 100%,’’ he said. “You want to use as much time as possible to see, ‘Hey, how much can we push this? How much can we get feeling back on our feet, back to 100%?’

“On a short week, you have to use all the time that you have.’’

If Taylor recovers sufficiently and starts against the Broncos, he’ll attempt to pull the running game out of its three-game funk.

After rushing 31 times for 161 yards in the season-opening overtime tie at Houston, Taylor has been limited to 167 yards on 50 carries in the last three games. A Colts’ running game that ranked 2nd in the NFL last season, has plummeted to 27th in yards per game (87.8) and yards per attempt (3.5).

Phillip Lindsay? He’s ready

Indianapolis Colts running back Phillip Lindsay (30) heads for the end zone for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

If Taylor is unable to play against the Broncos, Lindsay will be ready to step in.

That’s because he’s always ready, and would be further motivated by playing in his hometown against his former team.

“Every single week I prepare like I’m going to play. Every week,’’ Lindsay said. “Every time I touch that field it’s like I’m about to play, so going into games, I know the whole system, the whole thing.

“I’m ready when my number’s called. That’s just how I am. That’s how I register things.’’

Taylor’s questionable status isn’t altering Lindsay’s approach.

“It’s the same to me,’’ he said. “Whenever they say, ‘Phil, it’s time for you to go,’ I’ll be ready.’’

Lindsay’s eyes lit up at the possibility of seeing his first action with his new team against his old team, and literally in his own neighborhood.

“Denver is home; born and raised,’’ he said. “All my life.’’

He owns two homes in the Denver area and hopes he gets an opportunity to have his family, including his 2.5-year-old son, at the game.

“He knows daddy plays football, and he loves football,’’ Lindsay said. “I would be looking forward to taking my son back home and be able to see his father play in that stadium. It will be a great little story.’’

Lindsay was a prep standout at Denver’s South High School who went on to rush for 3,770 yards and 36 touchdowns at the University of Colorado. He signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted rookie in 2018 and enjoyed a meteoric NFL career: consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie.

After his third season, Lindsay saw the Broncos essentially decide to reload at the position. They signed free agent Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $16 million contract with $13.5 million guaranteed, and offered Lindsay a low restricted tender. Denver subsequently rescinded the tender, making him an unrestricted free agent

“It was straight business; I would say more so on their end,’’ Lindsay said.

He spent the 2021 season with Houston and Miami, then signed with the Colts in May.

Roster move

Indianapolis Colts kicker Chase McLaughlin kick a field goal from the hold of Matt Haack against the Tennessee Titans the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

The Colts signed kicker Chase McLaughlin to the active roster from the practice squad and waived wide receiver Dezmon Patmon. The move with McLaughlin was necessitated because the team already had exhausted its allotment of three elevations from the practice squad.

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.