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Indianapolis Colts

Colts 2022 Position Recap: Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor battled through ankle injuries while Zack Moss was a late-season bright spot for the Colts' running backs in 2022. 

2022 Depth Chart

  • Jonathan Taylor (11 starts, 192 carries, 861 yards, 4 TDs)
  • Deon Jackson (16 games, 2 starts, 68 carries, 236 yards, 1 TD)
  • Zack Moss (8 games, 3 starts, 76 carries, 365 yards, 1 TD)
  • Jordan Wilkins (4 games, 13 carries, 58 yards)
  • Phillip Lindsay (3 games, 15 carries, 49 yards)
  • Jake Funk (1 game)
  • D'Vonte Price (1 game)

3 Things To Know

  • Jonathan Taylor fought through ankle injuries all season. The first time Taylor missed a game due to an injury was in Week 5, after he sustained an ankle injury on a critical lost fumble in Week 4's loss to the Tennessee Titans. Taylor would miss six games with ankle injuries – Weeks 5 and 6, Week 9 and then Weeks 16-18 after he was placed on injured reserve. Even when Taylor did play, his ankle wasn't quite right – a year after he averaged a franchise-record 5.5 yards per carry, Taylor only had four games in which he averaged more than five yards per carry; he finished 2022 with an average of 4.5 yards per carry. Taylor told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport he underwent a minimally invasive procedure on his ankle which he said was "extremely successful," and expects to be back to 100 percent heading into the 2023 season.
  • The Colts might've discovered something in Zack Moss. The Colts acquired Moss and a conditional 2023 sixth-round pick from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Nyheim Hines on Nov. 1, and after Taylor went on injured reserve, Moss stepped in as the team's starting running back. He was a bright spot as the season ended: In his three starts, Moss carried 45 times for 253 yards (5.6 yards/carry) and logged his first career 100-yard game with a 114-yard showing in Week 18 against the Houston Texans. His physical, keep-the-pile-moving running style impressed teammates – and with one more year left on his rookie contract, Moss could be a potential complement to Taylor in 2023.
  • O-line instability hurt the run game in the first half of 2022. "Early in the season we had some changes to the offensive line, and that's where our struggles occurred early and we just never really recovered from them," general manager Chris Ballard said. "It took us awhile to get some continuity. I probably underestimated that." Over the first eight weeks of 2022 – with the Colts cycling through different O-line combinations – Colts running backs averaged 1.1 yards before contact, ninth-lowest in the NFL. From Weeks 9-18, that went up to 1.7 yards before contact, ninth-highest in the NFL.

1 Big Stat

The Colts' run offense went from being among the league's most explosive in 2021 to among the league's least explosive in 2022.

  • Rushes of 10+ yards, 2021: 78 (3rd in NFL)
  • Rushes of 10+ yards, 2022: 47 (25th in NFL)

It wasn't just explosive runs that declined – overall, the Colts' percentage of "successful" runs dropped from 34.5 percent in 2021 (second in the NFL) to 27.6 percent in 2022 (26th in the NFL). The Colts were both an explosive and efficient rushing offense in 2021; the same can't be said for 2022.

A look back at the Colts' running back position through photos from the 2022 season.

What's Next

While the Colts' run game was not what they hoped it'd be in 2022, there are reasons for optimism heading into 2023 – even before we know who the Colts' head coach will be, and what kind of offense he wants to run. A healthy Taylor, an emerging Moss and some core pieces on the offensive line will give the Colts' rushing offense a chance to succeed at whatever the team's next head coach and offensive coordinator want out of it.

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