Whatever plan that the Indianapolis Colts had for their offense coming into the offseason has to be changed. With running back Jonathan Taylor out of the lineup for at least the first four weeks of the season, and potentially permanently, a new game plan has to be put into place.
Head coach Shane Steichen probably had grand plans of relying on Taylor to carry the load as they acclimated their rookie quarterback, Anthony Richardson, to life in the NFL. But, that luxury is no longer afforded to them as Taylor is on the PUP List and some people in the football world believe he has played his last snap with the Colts.
Without a go-to star in the backfield, Steichen has announced a new plan of attack. The Colts have Zack Moss, Deon Jackson and rookie Evan Hull to carry the load in the backfield and all three are going to get a chance.
“I think it’s running back by committee,” Steichen said Monday, via the Indy Star. “Whoever’s got the hot hand, let ’em ride a little bit.”
Things could start to look similar in Indianapolis as they did with the Philadelphia Eagles the last few seasons. When Steichen was offensive coordinator there, the Eagles rotated their running backs, and quarterback Jalen Hurts as a runner, depending on the situation.
Given the skill set that Richardson possesses, something similar could be in store for the Colts. Moss, Jackson and Hull have differing skill sets that can be relied upon depending on the situation.
“This offense, I feel like it allows all of us to use our versatility, but me specifically, I feel like it allows me to use my speed,” Jackson said. “It suits my skill set pretty well.” (H/T Kevin Patra of NFL.com)
Speed is the one thing Jackson possesses that Moss doesn’t. But, Moss brings the power to what could be the Colts’ early down duo. Hull, a fifth-round pick out of Northwestern, played a third-down role collegiately and could do the same with the Colts.
While this will be a backfield that gives Fantast Football managers headaches throughout the season, the Colts are going to do whatever they feel is best to help the team win games. Riding the hot hand is a good approach as it will give everyone a chance to get going while keeping the group fresh throughout the grind of the regular season until Taylor can return if he does at all.