WESTFIELD – Shane Steichen offered an update on Jonathan Taylor.
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive centerpiece remains on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) while rehabbing his right ankle, but was uncharacteristically not present for Tuesday morning’s practice at Grand Park Sports Campus.
Taylor usually watches running back drills in his hoodie, and occasionally interacts with his teammates.
Not Tuesday. And anytime there’s a change in routine at camp that involves a high-profile, disgruntled player, it’s newsworthy.
Steichen said Taylor’s absence was “part of his rehab process. When you guys don’t see him out there, it’s part of his rehab process.’’
Here’s a quick back-and-forth between Steichen and the media.
Was he rehabbing at Grand Park? ESPN’s Stephen Holder, citing a source, reported Taylor informed the team he would continue his rehab away from the Colts and it might last several days.
I’ll refrain from getting into that.
Do you expect him back tomorrow?
If you don’t see him back here out on the field, he’s rehabbing.
What exactly is Taylor’s health status?
He’s got an ankle and he’s rehabbing his ankle. Once the medical staff clears him and he’s 100%, he’ll be out here practicing.
Is he making progress?
Yeah, I think he’s in a good spot and we’re going from there.
Do you think he’ll practice during camp? The Colts break camp Aug. 17 following their second joint workout with the Chicago Bears.
Yeah, I’d like to see that. We’ll see how it all plays out, though. Again, once he’s cleared, he’ll be out here.
Is Taylor rehabbing the same ankle injury that required Jan. 25 surgery?
He’s got an ankle.
It was Steichen’s most extensive comments on Taylor since camp opened. He’s like most head coaches who prefer to discuss players who are actually practicing and not those who are injured, rehabbing or are on PUP.
Taylor’s status has been a camp focal point – or flash point – since he was placed on PUP July 25, and things quickly deteriorated.
He’s in the final year of his rookie contract that pays him a base salary of $4.3 million this year, and wanted an extension. The team responded that there would be no extension, and that Taylor’s contract would be addressed after the season.
Taylor then requested a trade, which Jim Irsay dismissed after having a one-hour meeting with his feature back in the owner’s luxury bus during a July 29 practice.
As the Taylor/Colts impasse continues, it’s worth noting the clock continues to wind toward the Sept. 10 opener with Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Taylor remains the only player on PUP. Tyquan Lewis was activated to the roster Tuesday.
The veteran defensive tackle ended his second straigtht season on IR after tearing his left patellar tendon. Lewis tore the right tendon in 2021.
The list of players held out of practice remained long.
It included: running backs Zack Moss (broken arm) and Deon Jackson (undisclosed), safeties Julian Blackmon (hamstring) and Rodney Thomas II (toe), defensive end DeForest Buckner (foot) and tight ends Mo Alie-Cox (ankle), Jelani Woods (hamstring) and Will Mallory (hamstring).
Steichen has focused on exposing the offense to various situations during camp. Tuesday’s practice ended with an end-of-game scenario: 2:40 remaining, a 4-point lead, possession at its own 35. A first down was needed to essentially secure a victory.
The Nos. 1 and 2 offenses went 0-for-2.
Gardner Minshew II ran the first unit throughout practice and was unable to generate a first down. He handed off twice – a run for a loss, another for a minimal gain – then failed to connect with Alec Pierce on third down.
It was no better with Anthony Richardson and the No. 2 offense. After two unsuccessful rushing attempts, Richardson was pressured in the pocket and would have absorbed a third-down sack.
Richardson completed 4-of-6 passes with the second unit and suffered an interception when Kevin Tolliver II beat Mike Strachan to the football.
Minshew was 9-of-12 on the day.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.