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What first touchdown of 2023 meant to running back Jonathan Taylor

Taylor's five-yard touchdown run against the Browns was his first time he'd scored in 329 days.


When Jonathan Taylor made his long-awaited return to the field in Week 5, it felt like just a matter of time before the star running back would get back into the end zone.

As it would turn out, his first touchdown came this Sunday in the Colts' 39-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns. This ended the stretch of 329 days since he had last scored.

"That was definitely well missed," Taylor said. "Wish it resulted in a win, but that was - I've been out of there for awhile, so it was nice to get back in the box."

The five-yard score capped off what was a busy third quarter drive for Taylor, who had accounted for 50 of the team's 75 yards. 30 of those yards came on his six carries, while the other 20 came on a reception.

"We had a nice drive going," Taylor said. "And you never know, especially with Shane Steichen's playbook, he can call anything. And the fact that he dialed another run for me and said, 'Hey JT, go and get this one.' It felt really nice to finally be back in the end zone."

All told, Taylor finished the game with a season-high 75 rushing yards on 18 carries. He also had four catches that led to 45 receiving yards.

Having seen up close what Taylor can do for the past three and a half seasons, center Ryan Kelly said his ability to make plays is a big help to the offensive line, especially when there aren't big rushing lanes for him to get through.

"Everybody's got access to the tape now," Kelly said. "So, if you go back and you watch some of the runs he has made fitting in gaps that small, it makes our job a lot easier."

Since Taylor was activated from the Reserve/PUP List in Week 5, he has seen a steady increase in his snaps. He saw 10 against the Tennessee Titans and then 33 against the Jaguars in Week 6. Today, he had a season-high 35.

As he schemes more ways to get Taylor on the field, Steichen said he has been pleased with what he's seen from him so far.

"He's getting closer and closer every week," Steichen said. "Obviously this is his third week playing. I gotta go back and look at the numbers, but I thought he ran pretty good. Obviously had the big screen down the sideline, did some good things."

As Taylor gets his body and mind back into the rhythm of playing, he said he appreciates the coaching staff giving him time to get comfortable again.

"I definitely felt like I was able to get more in tune with the game," Taylor said. "Especially after slowly ramping up and working back into the flow of the game. It's definitely tough if you've been out and you haven't really had contact in over 290 days. So, it was definitely key to get worked back in. That's the quickest way to get injured, just throwing somebody back into the fire."

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