INDIANAPOLIS —The Indianapolis Colts could be without one of the key pieces of their offense and special teams units for the remainder of the season.
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Tuesday that backup running back Robert Turbin, whose left arm appeared to buckle as he hit the ground and tried to brace his fall in the fourth quarter of Monday night's loss to the Tennessee Titans, might not return to the lineup in 2017.
"His season is probably over, unfortunately," Pagano said of Turbin on his weekly appearance on 1070 The Fan's "Colts Roundtable Live. "We're going to miss Robert Turbin."
After the game, Pagano told reporters that Turbin had suffered an elbow injury, and that he was going to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. The Colts today did re-sign running back Josh Ferguson — who was with the team for the entirety of his rookie year in 2016 — to its practice squad, though the team was yet to make a Turbin-related roster move as of Tuesday evening.
Turbin has been a crucial member of the Colts' backfield the last two seasons; in that time, he has become the league's most dependable back in third-and-1 situations.
Since 2016, Turbin has converted all 12 of his attempts on third-and-1 into first downs, the most in the NFL over that span.
A solid blocker and pass catcher, Turbin is also a major member of the Colts' coverage units on special teams.
"I mean, what a heck of a teammate and football player," Pagano said. "Core special teamer and third-down back, short-yards back and 1-2 punch with Frank Gore. (He's) done great things here."
Turbin was injured after making a catch on a third-and-10 play late in the fourth quarter Monday against the Titans. Down 29-22, quarterback Jacoby Brissett found the running back on a dump pass across the middle, and Turbin was able to get nine yards on the play before he was brought down hard by cornerback Logan Ryan just short of the first down marker.
On the ensuing play, Brissett was stopped just short of the marker, as well, turning the ball over on downs to the Titans, who would close out the game with a long touchdown run to defeat the Colts, 36-22, for their first win in their series against Indianapolis in their last 12 tries.
If Turbin is indeed out for an extended period of time, the team could turn to rookie Marlon Mack and third-year back Matt Jones, who was inactive on Monday against the Titans, to try to fill his roles.