According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Indianapolis Colts are scheduled to meet with Philadelphia Eagles free agent running back Jay Ajayi next week:
#Eagles FA RB Jay Ajayi is set to visit the #Colts next week, source said. One of the top backs available. Coming off a torn ACL, he’ll have a physical.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2019
Originally a 2015 5th round pick of the Miami Dolphins, Ajayi is coming off a season with the Eagles in which he ran for 184 rushing yards on 45 carries (4.1 ypc avg) and 3 rushing touchdowns in 4 games (3 starts) before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in Week 5.
He has 2,516 career rushing yards on 562 carries (4.5 ypc avg) and 13 career rushing touchdowns, as well as 63 receptions for 419 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
At 6’0”, 223 pounds, the 5th-year veteran has always been highly regarded as a very physical rusher—having averaged 3.22 yards after contact per attempt last year before his season was cut short.
While the Colts have a talented stable of young running backs including Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins, the team really lacks a ‘grinder’, tough between-the-tackles rusher who can gain those tough yards—especially in short yardage situations.
Still only 25 years old, Ajayi doesn’t have the durability to be a franchise workhorse, but he does run with tremendous physicality and ‘punch’. He’d be a nice veteran addition to this Colts backfield, and head coach Frank Reich has familiarity with him from his time previously as offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ajayi likely also wouldn’t command many years or dollars given his recent injury (and history), and it could very well be a short-term “prove it” deal at his next NFL destination.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Ajayi ultimately signs with the Colts next week.