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Running back Jonathan Taylor reaches end zone in first game since thumb surgery

Taylor finished the game with 43 rushing yards and a touchdown.

For a player who loves the game as much as Taylor, being away from the field for much of this season has been a bitter pill to swallow.

After missing the first four games of the season as he spent time on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, Taylor was sidelined again after injuring his right thumb in the Colts' Week 12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I just came back to the sideline and, 'Something is not right. This is kind of weird," Taylor said when he spoke to the media on Thursday. "Got checked out by the trainers, thought it was a jam so heavy tape job, heavy tape job, until of course you find out at the end of the game what's really going on."

The timing couldn't have been worse considering he was having his best game of the year after rushing for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

Rather than getting to build off of the big outing, he had to have surgery and missed the next three contests.

So, when he took the field this Sunday for the first time since Nov. 26, it didn't take long for Taylor to make up for lost time.

On the Colts' opening offensive drive against the Atlanta Falcons, he had six carries for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Unfortunately, after that drive, there weren't many rushing lanes for Taylor or any of the Colts' running backs to exploit.

Taylor's score was the only time the Colts reached the end zone, making way for their 29-10 loss.

Collectively, the offense averaged 3.9 yards per play and running backs combined for 61 rushing yards. This was second time in three games the unit failed to top 300 yards.

Frustrated that he was unable to contribute more down the stretch, Taylor said the group has to do a better job of fighting for extra yardage.

"I think anytime you don't get production in the run game that's going to hinder you. We got to find a way to make plays," Taylor said. "I know I mentioned this a little earlier in the year you know, maybe something looks a little ugly, but when you get to the line of scrimmage, can you squeeze out two or three yards so it's second and seven, maybe? But that's something that we got to work on in the running back room, but it's tough anytime you can't get the run game going. That opens up a lot."

Taylor finished with 18 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.

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