After he gave up the primary rushing responsibilities to Jordan Wilkins in the second half of the Lions game, Jonathan Taylor was given new life by earning the start against the Ravens. He started off the game strong, with an early reception and productive runs in the first quarter, culminating in a goal line touchdown. When he fumbled the ball on a run that would have otherwise gone for 10 yards, and it was returned for a touchdown, his day was basically over.
It’s not that the Colts wouldn’t have come back to Taylor but the offensive collapse in the second half, along with playing from behind, limited his opportunities on the day.
A rookie name that is starting to become more familiar is undrafted wide receiver DeMichael Harris. Injuries have forced Harris into the active lineup and the offensive game plan in multiple weeks this season and when he has been given opportunities, he’s made the most of them. There is no doubt that Harris is undersized - he was used as an athletic weapon in college who split time between running back and receiver - but he is also extremely fast and adds an element to the Colts offense that is otherwise lacking.
Fans were surprised to see Harris find so much success in his last start only to fall back to the practice squad. The shouts are going to get louder to keep Harris on the active roster and figure out a way to work him in to the offense more consistently moving forward. He is arguably the team’s best option at replacing what they had planned to do on offense with Parris Campbell coming into the season.
Michael Pittman Jr. used his second consecutive start, after returning from injury, to step into a primary role in the offense. He was targeted a team-high seven times and brought in four receptions for 56 yards. He looked confident with his hands and using his big body to make plays and generate early first downs. He also looked explosive with the ball in his hands and could bust out if presented with a slighter bigger running window after the catch, or against a secondary that isn’t as talented as Baltimore’s.
Rooke safety Julian Blackmon continues to be the only defensive rookie to get opportunities on Sundays. With a defense as talented as what the Colts have compiled, that’s impressive in and of itself. He tallied three tackles, including one for a loss, on Sunday and didn’t get attention in coverage — which is a good thing for a free safety. Games like these will be more common throughout Blackmon’s career but he has to be looking for his next big opportunity to create a turnover.
Rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship hit his two attempts for the day, one extra point and a 43-yard field goal. His teammate Isaiah Rodgers again flashed with a 37 yard kickoff return that was likely one missed tackle or one block away from going for a touchdown. In a relatively low scoring game there weren’t a lot of opportunities for these rookies to get involved.