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Indianapolis Colts

Colts 2022 Training Camp Preview: Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor will look to build on his record-setting 2021 season while Nyheim Hines should be a player to watch when the Colts open training camp at Grand Park later this month. Check out what to watch for from the Colts' running backs ahead of the start of training camp on July 27. 

Who's In

  • Phillip Lindsay (signed as free agent)
  • Ty'Son Williams (signed as free agent)
  • D'Vonte Price (signed as undrafted free agent)
  • CJ Verdell (signed as undrafted free agent)

Lindsay brings two 1,000-yard seasons and a career average of 4.5 yards per carry to the Colts' running back room, where he'll compete with Williams – who rushed for 185 yards on 35 carries (5.3 YPC) in limited action for the Baltimore Ravens in 2021 – along with Price, Verdell and 2021 undrafted free agent Deon Jackson.

Who's Out

  • Marlon Mack (signed with Houston Texans)

With Jonathan Taylor putting together a record-setting season, opportunities were limited for Mack in 2021 – he appeared in six games and rushed for 101 yards on 28 carries. The Colts will see him to open and close the 2022 season with the Texans.

Who's Back

  • Nyheim Hines (fifth year)
  • Deon Jackson (second year)
  • Jonathan Taylor (third year)

Taylor is looking to be even better than he was in 2021 – a year in which he rushed for 1,811 yards, had 20 total touchdowns and was named a unanimous first-team AP All-Pro. Those who know Taylor, though, don't doubt his ability and dedication to improve off a record-setting season.

"I don't expect anything different from Jonathan just knowing how he works, how he prepares and his mindset — like, he wants to be great," general manager Chris Ballard said after the 2021 season. "And he's driven to be great, and he's driven to do whatever it takes — he'll do whatever it takes to be great. And I'll tell you the other thing that he's driven to do is win. So if Jonathan rushes for 900 yards in a season and we win 14 games and go win a Super Bowl, Jonathan Taylor is going to be as excited as anybody.

"I don't think he'll feel any more pressure than he puts on himself to perform. This kid's a rare competitor. And he rises to the occasion of whatever it is what you need him to do, whatever the team needs to do for us to win, he will do it. So I don't think that you're going to have any kind of expectations that the outside pressure's going to put on him that he doesn't put on himself."

The Colts are eyeing a bigger role for Hines in 2022 after he set career highs in yards per attempt (4.9), yards per reception (7.8) and yards per touch (6.1), yet tied a career low with 96 touches in 2021.

Jackson primarily played on special teams as a rookie and will be part of a strong competition for a spot on the Colts' roster during camp.

What To Watch For

During OTAs, part of the Colts' emphasis on getting Hines more involved was getting him reps in the slot as a receiver. There are plenty of creative ways the Colts can change the math for opposing defenses with Hines, who can both run between the tackles and be a top-notch YAC guy as a receiver. He's a player to watch in Westfield; of course, catching an early look at one of the best running backs in the NFL in Taylor is more than worth a trip to Grand Park.

Training Camp Information

The Colts will return to Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield for training camp in 2022. Click here for a full schedule of practices open to fans. Free tickets will be required to attend, which can be obtained here. For more information on Colts 2022 Training Camp Presented By Koorsen Fire & Security, click here.

Statistically Speaking

There are seemingly hundreds of stats that can sum up how incredible Taylor's 2021 season was. But let's go with two, starting with this rushing yards leaderboard:

  1. Jonathan Taylor (total): 1,811 yards
  2. Jonathan Taylor (after contact): 1,272 yards
  3. Nick Chubb (total): 1,259 yards
  4. Joe Mixon (total): 1,205 yards
  5. Najee Harris (total): 1,200 yards

And the 552-yard gap between Taylor (1,811 yards) and Chubb (1,259 yards) was the largest between the NFL's No. 1 and No. 2 rushers since 2009, when the Titans' Chris Johnson 2,006 yards were 590 ahead of the Rams' Steven Jackson.

They Said It

"Yeah, I think that last year, as we've documented well, we got probably a tad more run-centric than we wanted to be, than I wanted us to be. Just worked out the way the dynamics were. Nyheim still made an impact in games but not as much as normal and if you look at his years here, it's been like every other year where he seems to have a better year. I was just laughing with (Matt) Conti coming in here, talking about Nyheim and I said, 'If I was a fantasy owner, if I was going to be in a fantasy league, I think I'd pick Nyheim this year. I think I'd consider drafting Nyheim. I think it's worth to consider drafting him.'" - Colts head coach Frank Reich

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