INDIANAPOLIS — Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor will miss the first game of his college or pro career after being ruled out for Thursday night’s road contest against the Denver Broncos.
Taylor sustained a badly twisted ankle late in the Colts’ 24-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday and did not return to the game. He had been undergoing constant rehab since in an effort to make it back for Thursday night, even suggesting on Tuesday that a decision on his availability might come shortly before kickoff.
But, in the end, the third-year back was unable to overcome the injury.
“I definitely do plan to play, but if you can’t go you can’t go,” Taylor said Tuesday. “That’s why you have to get as much treatment as you can.”
The Colts have been struggling to generate a consistent running game even with Taylor in the lineup, so his absence will not make things any easier. The Colts enter Week 5 at 27th in rushing yards per game (87.8) and per carry (3.5), a far cry from last season when Taylor was the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,811 yards and the Colts led the league in rushing.
The Colts will lean on some combination of carries from No. 2 running back Nyheim Hines, Deon Jackson and, possibly, former Broncos star Phillip Lindsay, who is on their practice squad.
The Colts also ruled out linebacker Shaquille Leonard and defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis with concussions and safety Julian Blackmon with an ankle injury.