More Playing Time Coming For Robert Turbin In 2017?

Intro: Re-signed and back for a second season in Indianapolis, Robert Turbin could be in line for more playing time in 2017. What will factor into a larger role for Turbin?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Going into his sixth NFL season, Robert Turbin will once again share a backfield with a Hall of Fame caliber player.

There was Turbin's first three NFL years playing behind Marshawn Lynch in Seattle.

Here in Indianapolis, Turbin is about to head into a second season with Frank Gore as the team's starting running back.

If Gore continues his rare run of durability, the "starter" label is not expected to come for Turbin in 2017.

But that does not mean the Colts are opposed to seeking out more opportunities to involve Turbin this fall.

Those talks have come up after the Colts re-signed Turbin last month.

"Robert's had success in this league and he really niched out a role for us last year," new GM Chris Ballard says of Turbin.

"It'll be interesting to see if he can progress even more on first and second down and take some of the load off (Gore). But that'll be completely up to our coaching staff and Robert and how he performs."

In Turbin's first season with the Colts, his roles were primarily situational.

Short yardage. Third-down. Two-minute. Those were the main uses for Turbin in 2016.

Could he now be in line to maybe start a series or two, in place of Gore?

Turbin would, obviously, love that.

"I want to expand my role and become more than just a red zone, or third down, or short yardage back," Turbin says. "I think being versatile in this league is very important. As a running back, the more you can do in catching the ball out of the backfield and being an every down back, really helps a football team. It takes a lot of pressure off your quarterback and your defense, when you have a back like that.

"One of these days I'd like to be a starter. One of these days I'd like to lead the league in rushing or touchdowns and do great things. And I believe I can accomplish those goals. I really do."

With Gore turning 34 years old in May, it makes sense for the Colts to look into more Turbin.

Last year, Turbin averaged just 3.1 carries per game, the fewest of his career.

That was enough to earn a new fan in the general manager position.

"We wanted Robert back," Ballard says.

"He's a great pro and he's even a better human being. I really enjoy being around him. Those are the kind of guys your root for."

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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