Saturday was a big day for running back Jonathan Taylor.
Not only was he activated off of the Reserve/PUP List, which allowed him to make his season debut that Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, but he also signed a contract extension with the Colts.
The deal ended months of speculation regarding what the future held for the All-Pro running back.
"It means a lot just to be able to know that I'm gonna be here playing for the best fans in the world, playing with some of the best players in the world and just to know it's a family atmosphere here," Taylor said. "Like I said from day one after my first season, I always wanted to retire a Colt. So, to be able to take another step towards that, it's amazing."
Taylor admitted that prior to the extension, he had wrestled with uncertainty as he was trying to balance rehabbing his injured ankle and figuring out the next steps for his career.
"Especially when you're not healthy and you can't go out there and do what you love, I mean it's tough," Taylor said. "It pushes you and puts you in tough positions mentally and you got to have a good support system. I mean, my wife is a huge supporter of me and she's my rock."
Another person who helped Taylor through the trying contract negotiations was Hall of Fame running back and Colts' legend Edgerrin James.
Having been in Taylor's shoes two decades ago, Taylor said that James gave him valuable insight over the past several months.
"James has always been helpful," Taylor said. "Just being able to lean on him - I mean, you look at the type of back he was, a legendary, Hall of Fame running back. So, just being able to gather advice from someone who's done what you're trying to do, has walked that path, I think that was instrumental. I don't think that'd be a smart move to not take someone's advice who's already walked the same path as you."
Now with his contract signed, Taylor can focus squarely on playing the game that he loves, which he did on Sunday. In the Colts 23-16 victory, Taylor had six carries for 18 yards and 16 receiving yards.
"It's been a journey, but to be able to finally step back on the field today with my brothers, it was a good feeling," Taylor said. "It's been a while and just kind of get the feet wet getting back into it. The NFL is a physical game, so just being able to work yourself back in felt great. I mean, I don't know anybody who says this, but it felt great getting hit just because you haven't felt that in awhile."