Jonathan Taylor, the All-Pro running back whose dazzling moves on the gridiron have thrilled Indianapolis Colts fans since 2020, finds himself at a critical juncture in his budding career. Taylor and the Colts are currently at an impasse, and the friction isn't just about his recent ankle injury.
Instead, the heart of the matter is the unsettled contract situation between the franchise and its star player. Taylor took an unconventional route for his injury recovery, opting to rehabilitate his ankle at an out-of-state facility.
The choice was a significant departure from the norm of athletes receiving treatment with their teams. Taylor's decision led many to wonder if the move had underlying tones of his ongoing contract disagreement with the Colts.
However, Colts coach Shane Steichen put some of those speculations to rest. "He should be back this week," Steichen commented, although he admitted to being in the dark about the exact date of Taylor's return. "Do I know the exact date he'll be back? No, but he should be back."
Medical Clearance: The Final Hurdle
Before Taylor makes his triumphant return to the field, there's one more significant hurdle he must clear.
It's not about contract disputes or proving his commitment to the team, but rather his physical health. Taylor's availability for upcoming games rests in the hands of the Colts' medical staff. He must receive a green light from them before being activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
The dynamic running back found himself on this list since July 25 and has been away from the action since. While the team and fans await his return, Taylor remains steadfast in his personal commitment. An insider shared with ESPN that Taylor has repeatedly expressed his intent to resume playing only when he's at peak health.
This decision is unsurprising given the recurring ankle issues that plagued him during the 2022 season. At just 24, Taylor boasts impressive stats. With a staggering 3,841 rushing yards since his 2020 NFL debut, he ranks fourth in the league.
Moreover, his 33 rushing touchdowns during this period place him second. It's undeniable that the Colts and their fans are eager for his return, as his presence on the field is nothing short of electrifying. However, for now, all eyes remain on that crucial medical clearance, as it dictates the next chapter in this saga.