According to the team’s head coach Frank Reich, the Indianapolis Colts plan on continuing to rotate their three tailbacks as part of a running back by committee attack—prominently featuring the trio of Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins (via The Athletic’s Zak Keefer):
Frank Reich with no love for fantasy owners out there: "We're gonna look at our three running backs as starters. I know it's frustrating for fantasy players, but it's just the way we're gonna roll."— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) November 23, 2020
The Jonathan Taylor/Nyheim Hines/Jordan Wilkins rotation worked on Sunday.
That doesn’t mean that the Colts won’t ‘ride the hot hand’ though, as in recent weeks, Taylor led with 22 carries against Green Bay (Week 11), Hines led with 12 carries vs. Tennessee (Week 10), and Wilkins led with 20 carries facing Detroit (Week 8) respectively.
While sometimes it’s nice to have ‘the guy’, the Colts utilizing each of their three running backs and maximizing their strengths situationally keeps opposing run defenses off balance—as they’re forced to adjust to contrasting rushing styles and unique skill-sets: ‘pick your poison’. It also should keep each of the Colts’ running backs fresh down the final stretch of the season—as none of them have recently been overworked.
Otherwise, Reich indicated that the team plans on continuing to utilize primary backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett with certain packages—presumably in short-yardage situations—where he’s been ‘a specialist’ of sorts recently this season:
Frank Reich says this is the 1st time in his coaching career he's experimented with the 2-QB system. Early on, he wanted to allow Rivers to establish himself.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) November 23, 2020
"It feels like it's just the right thing to do," Reich says of keeping a package in the game plan for Jacoby Brissett.
This isn’t the 2006 Florida Gators’ National Championship version of Chris Leak and Tim Tebow ‘1-2’ QB tandem by any means, but credit Brissett for staying involved, available, and finding a way on the field to help his team win football games again—even in a reduced offensive role during 2020.
This may not be what he ultimately envisioned, but he’s still making a meaningful impact.
Always a team leader of the Colts’ locker room, Brissett showed a lot of fight and perseverance on a 4th and 1 QB sneak around the 5:00 mark of the 3rd quarter—plowing Packers’ defenders in the process for extra yards well past the sticks:
Despite the limited playing time this season, Brissett may have found a niche in certain short yardage and goal line situations with the Colts offense—as he’s effective quarterback sneaking it (something that veteran quarterback Philip Rivers is completely incapable of doing) and although not fast, Jacoby can be deceptively mobile at times—which presents another threat to consider/respect for opposing defenses:
Featuring Brissett within the Colts offense situationally is a nice wrinkle for Reich.
While Reich ‘shouldn’t overdo it’ (as the team still needs Rivers behind center much more often than not out there) or get too cute with it at times, it’s currently adding a nice touch to the Colts offensive attack—which had previously struggled in short yardage situations.
Say what you want, but it’s been pretty effective as of late—so the Colts should clearly keep it up.