PFF lists Colts’ Jonathan Taylor as team’s 2024 ‘bounce-back candidate’

According to PFF, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is the team’s ‘bounce-back candidate’ before the 2024 campaign:


Taylor was one of the NFL’s better running backs in his first two years, but injuries halted his production in the latter two. In 2023, he dealt with the effects of ankle surgery, not playing until Week 5, plus tore a ligament in his thumb.

In addition to potentially better health, Taylor is trending up for at least two other big reasons. For one, with Zack Moss heading to Cincinnati, Taylor should earn even more carries amid unproven depth behind him. Oh, and Taylor finally doesn’t have a contract dispute serving as the elephant in the room. The point is, don’t be shocked if Taylor has a huge 2024.

Taylor was limited to just 7 starts last season, as he began the season on PUP, still recovering from an offseason ankle surgery and later missed Weeks 13-15 due to an injured thumb—which would require minor in-season surgery.

During the 2023 season, Taylor had 169 carries for 741 total rushing yards (4.4 ypc. avg.) and 7 rushing touchdowns—which was productive given the limited snaps, but of course, nowhere near his usual league-leading (or close to it) elite rushing standards.

However, while it took him a bit to work into midseason form, Taylor looked all the way back in the Week 18 regular season finale against the Houston Texans, when he rushed for 188 total rushing yards on 30 carries (6.3 ypc. avg.) and a rushing touchdown—almost single-handedly carrying the Colts offensively to a playoff berth and ultimately, a divisional title.

Unfortunately, Indianapolis narrowly lost to the Texans late spoiling what would’ve otherwise may have been known as the “Jonathan Taylor Texans game” in Colts’ fan folklore—punching the Horseshoe’s ticket to the postseason.

Along with his full health, also working in Taylor’s favor is that he’ll be paired with Colts 2nd-year quarterback Anthony Richardson—who he shared just 2 snaps with last year before Indy’s new franchise player was lost to a season-ending shoulder injury. The highly athletic newfound Colts ‘dynamic duo’ should be an elite 1-2 punch in the RPO game, really complementing one another and keeping defenses off-balance and consistently guessing.

Richardson’s upgraded arm strength should keep those potential opposing 8-men boxes more honest, and the Colts front office did Taylor extra favors by adding two rookie offensive linemen early on, as well as selecting a 1st-year field stretcher, AD Mitchell, in the second round.

Taylor figures to at least surpass 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, which is something he’s accomplished two of the last three seasons. Still only 25 years old, he’s just two years removed from a monstrous ‘triple crown rushing campaign,’ in which he led the league in carries (332), rushing yards (1,811) and rushing touchdowns (18) as a bona fide NFL MVP candidate until the Colts late season collapse (*through no fault of JT’s own play).

While Richardson’s dynamic red zone rushing ability may eat into some of Taylor’s rushing touchdown output going forward, he still figures to rebound with some big, big numbers in 2024—re-establishing himself as one of the Top 3 rushers in the NFL as an elite throwback workhorse.

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