INDIANAPOLIS — Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor will miss the first game of his college or pro career as he is ruled out of Thursday night’s road contest against the Denver Broncos.
Taylor suffered a badly sprained ankle in the Colts’ 24-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and did not return to action. He had been in constant rehab since then to make it back by Thursday night and even hinted Tuesday that a decision on his availability could come shortly before kickoff.
But in the end, the third-year defender couldn’t overcome the injury.
“I’m definitely going to play, but if you can’t go, you can’t go,” Taylor said Tuesday. “That’s why you need to get as much treatment as possible.”
The Colts have struggled to generate a consistent running game even with Taylor in the lineup, so his absence won’t make things any easier. The Colts entered Week 5 ranked 27th in rushing yards per game (87.8) and per carry (3.5), a far cry from last season when Taylor was the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,811 yards and the Colts led the league in rushing.
The Colts are leaning on a combination of No. 2 linebackers Nyheim Hines, Deon Jackson and former Broncos star Phillip Lindsay on their practice squad.
The Colts also ruled out linebacker Shaquille Leonard and defensive end Tyquan Lewis with concussions and safety Julian Blackmon with an ankle injury.