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Even on IR, Colts RB Marlon Mack Continues to Mentor Jonathan Taylor and the Team’s Young Backfield

NFL: AUG 22 Colts Training Camp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack continues to mentor rookie rusher Jonathan Taylor and the team’s young backfield despite recovering from a season-ending torn Achilles:

Entering a contract season, Mack, who rushed for over 1,000 yards for the Colts last season, and was expected to form a hard-hitting ‘1-2 punch’ with Taylor, suffered the devastating injury in the team’s opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s not the first time that Mack has said and done the right thing—even when healthy in a crowded backfield that just added a highly touted rookie who may ultimately replace him:

Mack made the most of an otherwise awkward situation and put the team ahead of himself—believing that Taylor’s much anticipated arrival could make both backs better in the long-run.

It’s his past production, mentorship, and ultimate commitment to the team that may make the Colts think awfully hard about rewarding Mack with a 1-year ‘prove it’ deal (similar to the one in 2019 given to veteran safety Clayton Geathers)—if Mack’s free agent market proves to be cold in the 2021 offseason.

In truth, despite Taylor’s initial promise and impact, the Colts miss Mack too on the field.

Taylor is still adjusting to the speed and physicality of the NFL level, while the Colts offensive line, in turn, is adjusting to the rookie’s contrasting running style—as Mack was exceptional with patience and setting up potential blocks.

Still, Mack appears to be a very selfless pro and consummate team player—a true Horseshoe guy, as he’s still making a meaningful impact player-coaching for the Colts, even while currently on injured reserve.

That’s something that shouldn’t go unnoticed when general manager Chris Ballard has to contemplate about whether to re-sign the 24 year old running back (and team leader) next season—depending on how he also continues to progress in his ongoing rehabilitation.