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Colts expect RB Jonathan Taylor back this season; ‘Can’t say same’ for TE Jelani Woods

Colts fans received a mixed bag of injury updates from head coach Shane Steichen on Tuesday regarding two key offensive players.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

According to head coach Shane Steichen on Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts still expect star running back Jonathan Taylor to return at some point this late season. However, he ‘can’t say the same’ for 2nd-year tight end Jelani Woods whose return remains in jeopardy (via The IndyStar’s Nate Atkins):

Taylor is still recovering from recent minor thumb surgery, and the expectation is realistically that he’ll be out for at least one more week—having missed the last two games.

The Colts are hoping he can return faster than a 4-game injured reserve stint would’ve otherwise required, which is still very much potentially in the cards for Taylor.

Meanwhile, what was an initial significant hamstring injury for Woods has compounded into another injury, only to his other hamstring, when rehabbing. It’s starting to shape up that the initial hamstring injury could be ultimately season-ending for Woods, who has yet to appear in a regular season game for the Colts so far this season.

The Colts figure to ride interim starter Zack Moss for at least one more week in their offensive backfield—if Taylor is indeed inactive again.

Moss hasn’t had the same success he had to begin the season, but that might be better attributed to the fact that the Colts offensive line has collectively struggled in run blocking as of late, more than any sort of noticeable drop-off in Moss’s actual rushing ability.

Otherwise, Woods’ loss hurts the Colts offense as a dynamic receiving weapon—particularly in the red zone. At a listed 6’7,” 253 pounds, Woods is huge at the position but also can run a bit (4.61 forty time), meaning he would’ve been a matchup nightmare approaching the goal line. In 2022, he had 3 receiving touchdowns for the Colts as a rookie in limited action.