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Practice Notebook: Jonathan Taylor Plans To Play vs. Broncos But Status Remains Undecided

Taylor sustained an ankle injury during the Colts' Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans and said Tuesday he's doing everything he can to get on the field Thursday night in Denver. 

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The Colts are still evaluating the status of running back Jonathan Taylor's ankle ahead of Thursday night's Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Here's what we heard and learned on Tuesday:

  • "I definitely do plan to play," Taylor said. "But if you can't go, you can't go. So that's why you gotta get as much treatment as you can."
  • Taylor is doing everything his power to get his ankle, which was injured on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, to a spot where he can play Thursday in Denver. "Definitely want to use as much time as I can to get treatment and get feeling as well as possible before you try to make any decisions," Taylor said. "That's really critical, especially on a short week — on a normal week, you kind of got a lot of time. So just trying to push as much treatment as I can to see how far I get feeling well before we have to take off."
  • "We got a plan if he does play," head coach Frank Reich said. "We'll be ready for that, obviously, hope he can play. But still no status yet."
  • Reich said he didn't think Taylor's ankle could be injured further if he were to play on it. "From what I understand, from the discussions I've had with the doctors and our trainers, that's not a concern at this point," Reich said.
  • When asked if his status for Week 5 might come down to the last minute – inactive players are due 90 minutes prior to kickoff – Taylor intimated that might be the case.
  • The Colts will release a final practice report on Wednesday with game designations (questionable/doubtful/out).

If Taylor is not able to play, the Colts have a plan, too – which may include veteran running back and former Denver Broncos Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay.

  • Lindsay will merit "strong consideration," Reich said, to be elevated to the active roster from the practice squad.
  • As a rookie in 2018, Lindsay rushed for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns while earning a spot in the Pro Bowl with the Broncos. Notably, the Broncos' offensive line (tackles) coach in 2018 was current Colts offensive line coach Chris Strausser. Lindsay said the terminology of the Colts' run game is the same as it was his rookie year, and he feels "very comfortable" in the offense if he were to get called upon.
  • Lindsay is a Denver native and hasn't played at Empower Field at Mile High since he left the Broncos in 2021. "That's home base," Lindsay said. "That's where I met my wife, that's where we had our kids and it's going to be exciting if I get an opportunity to go back home."

Reich also discussed the status of linebacker Shaquille Leonard, who will not play Thursday after suffering a concussion and broken nose in Sunday's game against the Titans.

  • There's no timetable for Leonard's return yet as he not only goes through the concussion protocol, but recovers from the broken nose. "I think we have to evaluate how this thing works out with his nose and look at the concussion because we got those two things going on," Reich said. "We got to wait until this swelling goes down, take a closer look at what's going on in there and how significant it is because it was, obviously, a pretty significant blow."
  • Leonard was injured in the second quarter of the Colts' game against the Titans, which was his season debut.
  • "I just love this guy, man," Reich said. "He's the heart and soul of who we are. I feel terrible for him — he worked so hard to get back, it means so much to him. The team's success means so much to him. That's what I've come to appreciate about him more and more that he's been here. It's not just about Shaq, the All-Pro greatest linebacker, takeaway machine. It's not just about that. It's about the team. And so from that regard, probably more than anything, I know he's frustrated because he wants to be out there to help the team and hopefully he can get healthy fast."

Tuesday's practice report:

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