Colts See Jonathan Taylor Back Playing On Team But Admit Situation ‘Sucks’

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Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Wednesday “of course” there are scenarios in which Jonathan Taylor will play for the team again but admitted it’s going to take a lot of work to repair a fractured relationship.

“We’ll keep working through it,” Ballard said.

But after the Colts declined to give Taylor a contract extension he would sign, Taylor requested to be traded, both sides made strong statements about each other, and Taylor was on the trade block the past week, the situation seems dire now.

“The situation sucks,” Ballard admitted. “I’m not just going to sit here and give you a rosy picture, Oh everything’s OK. No, it sucks. It sucks for the Colts. It sucks for Jonathan Taylor. And it sucks for our fans.

“It does. And it’s where we’re at and we’ve got to work through it.”

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor is on PUP
Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball in the game against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Highmark Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

Ballard Knows Taylor Situation Needs Work

Ballard believes a lot of hard work must be done to get Taylor back in a Colts uniform this year. He has to rehabilitate and fully recover from an ankle surgery last winter that has not completely returned him to health.

Ballard said Taylor is “still having affects” from his surgery and is “not 100 percent.”

That is the reason the Colts placed the running back on the regular-season physically unable to perform list (PUP). That move means Taylor must miss the first four games.

“We’re not going to put a player on the field complaining of pain in the ankle,” Ballard said. “Not going to do that.”

It might be moot.

Colts Jonathan Taylor can still be traded.
Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up before kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Real Jonathan Taylor Trade Deadline Oct. 31

Although the Colts gave Taylor a deadline of Tuesday at 4 p.m. to find a team willing to trade for him, the deadline served the team in making roster decisions. It’s not a real trade deadline.

The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 31.

So if a team in dire need of an outstanding, 24-year-old running back decides to chase Taylor, that is obviously possible.

“I’m not going to get into trading, I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” Ballard said. “Right now Jonathan Taylor is a Colt.”

That “right now” stands out. Teams with explicit intentions of keeping a player have no problem saying so.

“Right now” is often general manager speak for “things are fluid and I can change my mind at any time in the best interest of the team.”

Colts GM Chris Ballard admits situation with Jonathan Taylor 'sucks'
Head coach Shane Steichen of the Indianapolis Colts speaks with General Manager Chris Ballard on the first day of the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp at Grand Park Sports Campus on July 26, 2023 in Westfield, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Ballard And Colts Won’t Talk Specifics

Ballard wasn’t pushed on that issue by reporters present at his press conference. He also didn’t wish to discuss any specifics relative to trade talks. He didn’t want to discuss “what was offered or not offered.”

The Colts had extensive talks with the Miami Dolphins. And ESPN reported the Colts also had discussions with the Green Bay Packers.

Dolphins GM Chris Grier said “there was no exchange of offers from either one of us. It was just general talks.”

That amid a Miami Herald report that the Colts asked the Dolphins for Jaylen Waddle. That report cited a Dolphins source.

So “no exchange of offers” and “general talks” sounds like semantics.

Where does this all leave everyone?

Will Jonathan Taylor return to the Colts.
Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Can Taylor And Colts Reconcile?

It sounds like the Colts are going to do their darndest (darnedest if you’re British) to repair the breach with Taylor. But that won’t guarantee he will remain with the team.

“We’re going to do everything we can to work through it. Relationships are repairable,” Ballard insisted.

“I care deeply for Jonathan Taylor. I have great respect for Jonathan Taylor. Our relationship, I tell you, even when it gets hard I won’t quit on the relationship. Won’t do it. I think too much of the young man.

“We’ve got work to do. We do. We’ve got work to do on the relationship and we have work to do to find a solution to the problem of what we’re going to do.”

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Written by Armando Salguero

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