Robert Turbin was expected to play an important role in the Colts’ backfield next season, but those plans may have changed a bit after receiving a four game suspension for performance enhancing drugs.
New head coach Frank Reich was excited about the prospect of Turbin becoming Indianapolis’ short yardage back in 2018. Turbin excelled in that role last season scoring a touchdown or gaining a first down on 28 of his 28 carries in short yardage situations (3 or less yards to go for a first down or touchdown), according to statistics compiled by the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder.
Now that Turbin is guaranteed to miss at least a quarter of the regular season, is it really worth it to keep him on the roster?
Marlon Mack is most likely going to be the lead back in Indianapolis this year after showing some promise in his first NFL season. The Colts are also excited about their two rookie running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins after selecting them in the fourth and fifth rounds of this year’s draft.
Josh Ferguson and Christine Michael round out the rest of the running back depth chart in Indianapolis, and both of them are capable of playing backup roles behind the Colts’ top three running backs.
Reich and the rest of the offensive staff would love to have a reliable and experienced back like Turbin in their rotation, but they have plenty of other options who are eligible to play in all 16 games next year. Also, the Colts wouldn’t lose a single dollar in dead cap money by releasing Turbin this offseason.
Before Turbin’s suspension, I thought he would earn some crucial playing time for Frank Reich in 2018. Now that he’s out for the first four games, I don’t think the Colts will keep him on the 53 man roster once the regular season rolls around.