A long and contentious offseason between the Colts and star running back Jonathan Taylor is poised to drag into the 2023 NFL season. After permitting Taylor to seek a trade in the week before Tuesday’s deadline for final roster cuts, Indianapolis is set to keep Taylor on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, after no deal materialized. This means Taylor will miss at least four games to open 2023, even if he is dealt after Tuesday.
At least two teams showed “substantive interest” in Taylor, per CBS Sports HQ insider Josina Anderson, but a trade “is not immediately imminent” after the Colts decided to keep the RB on PUP. Players on the list can be activated at any point during the offseason, but if they remain on PUP once 53-man rosters are finalized, they are required to miss at least four games.
The Colts “did not find what (they) felt was a fair-value offer” while engaging in trade inquiries, per ESPN. It’s still possible the team could deal the Pro Bowler ahead of the official in-season trade deadline of Oct. 31. The Dolphins were reportedly one of the clubs interested in acquiring the big-name ball-carrier, but Indy had reportedly been seeking the equivalent of a first-round pick in return.
Taylor, who is two years removed from leading the NFL with more than 1,800 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, opened the offseason with public support of the Colts, who have him under contract through 2023. He changed representation over the summer, however, and has been in a months-long feud with team brass, reportedly over both the team’s management of his injuries and a refusal to negotiate a long-term contract. He was in and out of team facilities during training camp but has yet to practice with the Colts this offseason, opening camp on PUP after undergoing surgery on an ankle that limited him in 2022.
What this means
Who will play RB for the Colts? Great question! Indy is set to adopt awith Taylor sidelined, likely splitting carries between backups Deon Jackson, Evan Hull and Zack Moss, the latter of whom is recovering from injury. The Colts had also signed veteran Kenyan Drake this summer, but he was a victim of final cuts. They can also address the position through waivers after every team trimmed their rosters down to 53 Tuesday.
Can Taylor be activated before Week 5? Nope. That’s just the way PUP works. The Colts could’ve carried Taylor on their active roster and suited him up whenever he’s healthy, but any player who opens the year on PUP must miss at least four games. So the earliest anyone will see him play this season is Week 5 against the Titans.
Can Taylor be traded while on PUP? Yes. But any acquiring team would still be required to keep Taylor on PUP through Week 4.