When Jonathan Taylor was asked by reporters if he’d be good to go Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts running back didn’t give a complete thumbs up.
The Colts, in the middle of a late-season playoff push, take on the Atlanta Falcons, and Taylor said he’d only be on the field if his surgically repaired thumb feels good.
Even though Indianapolis has gone 2-1 in the three games Taylor has missed, he’s using this week of practice to gauge just how close he is to making his return. Thursday morning was his first practice since his Nov. 29 procedure.
“First day, full speed,” Taylor said via ESPN. “Of course, everything we’ve been doing has been [in the] training room and controlled. But [practice is] full speed. You’ve got full velocity on the ball, you’ve got guys coming after the ball. It’s going to be a big day.”
Taylor was injured in the Colts’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 26. Despite running for a pair of touchdowns and 91 yards, Taylor was playing in immense pain, he revealed. What he though was a jam, requiring a heavy tape job by the trainer, was actually a torn ligament in his right thumb.
This second injury devastated Taylor because he’d already missed the first four games due to his late-offseason ankle surgery.
“I was just sick,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Man, another one?'”
However, Sunday’s game offers some late-season opportunity for Taylor. His backup, Zack Moss, is questionable to play, so Taylor being available would help tremendously.
With three games remaining, the Colts occupy the seventh seed in the AFC and would be the final team to make it if the playoffs started today.
Therefore, Taylor has a chance to uplift Indianapolis when it needs it the most.
“It’s not how you start,” he said. “It’s how you finish.”