Colts running back Jonathan Taylor will begin participating in practice Wednesday, head coach Shane Steichen said Monday.
Taylor was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp and moved to the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list on roster cut-down day in August, meaning he would have to miss at least the first four games of the season. Taylor's return to practice on Wednesday will open a 21-day window for the Colts to activate him from the PUP list to the 53-man roster.
Steichen said he's had "great conversations" with Taylor, who's rushed for 3,841 yards (5.1 yards/attempt) with 33 touchdowns over his three seasons with the Colts.
"He's super excited to be back with his teammates and looking forward to having him," Steichen said.
The earliest Taylor could possibly make his 2023 Colts debut is this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium, which Steichen said was a possibility. The Colts will evaluate how Taylor looks in practice this week before making a determination of his status for Week 5.
"He's in good shape conditioning-wise," Steichen said. "Obviously putting on the pads and practicing is a different deal. I know it's been a long time since he's played football. So we'll see how practice goes this week, see where he's at physically from putting the pads on and we'll go from there."
Steichen praised the conditioning work Taylor put in during his rehab process, and said he's excited to add the 2021 first-team AP All-Pro and NFL rushing leader to the Colts' offense once Taylor is ready to play.
"He's a big-time player," Steichen said. "He's explosive. He can hit the home runs when he sees the hole. That explosive breakaway speed, great vision, power, obviously one of the top backs in this league without a doubt. Excited to get him back with his teammates on Wednesday on the field."