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Jonathan Taylor running wild as Colts’ lead back

Jonathan Taylor Colts

Indianapolis Colts running back, Jonathan Taylor, has had an interesting — if not odd — rookie season. The second-round pick out of Wisconsin was expected to receive a starter’s share of carries, but after receiving just 13 total carries in Weeks 9 and 10 combined, Taylor’s role appeared to be diminishing.

In fact, Taylor’s role never seemed to be clear even before the reduction in his workload. His nine carries in Week 1 were followed by a whopping 26 in Week 2. He didn’t receive more than 20 carries again until Week 11, and he’s topped that number in two of the last three games he’s played.

Taylor’s time is now, and he’s making the most of it. He erupted in the Colts’ Week 14 win over the Raiders, running for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He’s had more than 90 rushing yards in each of his last three games and has at least one touchdown in two of them.

Taylor is now the unquestioned leader in the backfield. He has a 65% carry share over the last three games and is averaging more than 6 yards per carry. He’s flat out dominating, much like he did during his career as a Badger.

Colts coach Frank Reich acknowledged after the game that the light has gone on for Taylor as he enters the final month of his rookie season.

“There is something there,” Reich said. “I believe I’ve seen a confidence and getting the game to slow down. We’ve been talking about this as an offense for the whole year, even when we weren’t getting the yardage we wanted, we just kept saying, ‘Guys be patient. We’re getting better. We are doing the little things right. We’re not reaping all the benefits now, but just stick with it.’ I really believe that.

“We talked a lot about that as an offense, that we will be ascending at just the right time, and Jonathan is a big part of that with the way he is seeing it and running it.”

Taylor’s appeared in 12 games this season with 168 carries for 759 yards and six touchdowns.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

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