Jonathan Taylor mum on Colts’ future, focused on helping team in 2023: ‘I’m here right now’

Jonathan Taylor is healthy and back at practice for the Indianapolis Colts despite requesting a trade earlier this season. 

Since he wasn’t traded, Taylor is ready to get back on the field with the Colts.

His future with the Colts, though, remains in question, especially after his answer to whether he wants to be with the team.

“I’m here right now,” Taylor told reporters Thursday. 

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Jonathan Taylor at camp

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor watches practice at training camp in Westfield, Ind., July 29, 2023.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

“I don’t think it matters if I’m saying I’m committed or not, because I’m here. If somebody wasn’t committed, they wouldn’t be here. And right now, I’m here, and my No. 1 goal is to attack this first practice. It’s been over 290 days, I believe.”

Taylor has not been on the Colts’ practice field since December after reinjuring his right ankle and having offseason surgery to repair it. He was placed on injured reserve for the final three games of 2022, and after being on the physically unable to perform list during training camp, when he was asking for a trade, the Colts kept him on the PUP list to start the season. 

Because he was placed on the PUP list, Taylor had to miss the first four games of the season. The Colts have gone 2-2. 

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Now, Indy will have 21 days to activate Taylor to its 53-man roster. He was scheduled to be a full practice participant on Thursday after a walk-through with him present Wednesday. 

Reporters wanted to know where Taylor stands with his contract situation, which made national headlines during training camp. But he didn’t budge in the lengthy news conference. 

Jonthan Taylor high fives Gardner Minshew

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, left, high-fives quarterback Gardner Minshew II at training camp in Westfield, Ind., July 29, 2023.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

“I’m not here to get into any contract things,” Taylor explained. “Those were over the course of the offseason, but the season is here. We’ve got the Tennessee Titans on the clock. Division matchup. What are you going to do?”

Taylor and owner Jim Irsay’s rift was a major storyline in the NFL. At first, Irsay wasn’t budging on trading Taylor, who was searching for a long-term extension as he enters the final year of his rookie deal in Indy. 

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Then, Irsay backtracked, allowing Taylor to talk to teams to put together a trade package the Colts would accept. Indy reportedly wanted a first-round pick or a “package of picks that equates to as much,” per ESPN. 

Teams like the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears were rumored to be engaged with Taylor, but a deal never happened. 

The locker room still has Taylor’s back through his tumultuous time with the organization. There is hope Taylor and the Colts have mended their relationship, but the All-Pro running back was mum on that. 

Jonathan Taylor with helmet off

Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts warms up before kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Dec. 4, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

“The No. 1 thing that changed is that I’m finally able to step on the field,” Taylor said. “Like I said, it’s a big day. It’s a huge day.”

The Colts have not indicated whether Taylor will be activated against the Titans Sunday. 

Indy is 14th in the league in rushing yards per game, and that can be credited to Taylor’s backup, Zack Moss (280 rushing yards), and rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson (131 yards and four touchdowns). 

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Taylor rushed for 861 yards on 192 carries with four touchdowns last season as he fought through his ankle injury. He led the NFL in rushing yards (1,811) and rushing touchdowns (18) on a league-high 332 carries over 17 games in 2021, cementing him as one of the game’s elite running backs. 

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