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Report: Colts Free Agent RB Marlon Mack Progressing in Rehab; Expected to be a ‘Full Go’ for Training Camp

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Indianapolis Colts free agent running back Marlon Mack is progressing well in his ongoing rehabilitation and is expected to be a full go for training camp—wherever that may be:

Of course, the former 2017 4th round pick of the Colts suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in last season’s opener.

While achilles injuries can sap explosiveness—especially for a running back position that requires it, Mack is still only 25 years old and has youth on his side to potentially regain his prior standout form. He’s just a year removed from a 2019 season in which he rushed for 1,091 rushing yards on 247 carries (4.4 ypc. avg.) and 8 rushing touchdowns.

Even though Mack opened last year as the Colts starter, he’s been supplanted in the starting lineup by soon-to-be second-year sensation (and explosive power back) Jonathan Taylor, in a crowded backfield with electric scatback Nyheim Hines playing behind Taylor—as essentially a modern ‘Thunder and Lightning’ combination in Indianapolis’ running back stable.

Still, Mack has been a consummate professional throughout his rehabilitation and continued to be a great teammate—helping to mentor Taylor and the Colts other young running backs despite an uncertain future in Indianapolis.

While the Colts may not be able to afford Mack on a lucrative, multi-year deal, and his return is still unlikely. Should his free agent market prove cold, it’s possible Indianapolis could bring him back on a 1-year ‘prove it’ deal to continue to allow him to rehab with the team and regain some of his lost value—albeit in a much more limited role during 2021:

“Marlon Mack deserves a contract unequivocally,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said regarding Mack’s potential return earlier this offseason.

“He deserves a good contract. I don’t know if we are going to be able to do that here. Saying that, I’m not going to say that ‘Marlon is not going to be back,’ because I think he’s really special as a player and I could just see a backfield of Marlon, Jonathan (Taylor) and Nyheim (Hines) and (Jordan) Wilkins be really special. So I’m not going to discount it, but I think Marlon Mack is a great player and deserves what he has coming to him. And he’s even a better teammate, unselfish, everything you want.”