The Indianapolis Colts are considering placing All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor on the non-football injury list (NFI), according to reporter Mike Chappell.
Breaking: Colts considering placing Jonathan Taylor on non-football injury list (NFI), per source. He suffered some type of back injury while working out on own in Arizona. Also still rehabbing from January ankle surgery. Currently on PUP.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) July 31, 2023
Chappell also reports that Taylor suffered some sort of back injury while training in Arizona and is still rehabbing his ankle surgery from back in January. Taylor is currently on the physically unable to perform list (PUP).
Now, the question on when Taylor could return has become even less clear.
According to James Boyd, a Colts writer for The Athletic, if Taylor does not play in 2023 due to a non-football injury, the Colts would not have to pay him, and his contract would toll until 2024.
“In other words, he technically wouldn’t complete his rookie contract and would be on the hook again next season,” Boyd said.
The #Colts wouldn’t have to pay Jonathan Taylor during the 2023 season if he doesn’t play due to a non-football injury, and his contract would toll until 2024.— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) July 31, 2023
So in other words, he technically wouldn’t complete his rookie contract and would be on the hook again next season. https://t.co/eEfyPThcx3
Translation: The #Colts are digging their heels in and trying to make sure that if they don’t extend Jonathan Taylor or trade him — which owner Jim Irsay says they don’t plan on doing — he will suit up in 2023.— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) July 31, 2023
Taylor could always hold out, but then things get more complicated.
Taylor’s contract situation is one that many around the league have been closely monitoring, even more so after the All-Pro running back has been seeking a new deal and formally requested a trade from the organization on Saturday following a meeting with team owner Jim Irsay.
In 2021, Taylor set a Colts franchise record for most rushing yards in a single season (1,811) as well as rushing touchdowns (18). But a minor injury to his ankle, which required surgery back in January, limited the All-Pro back to just 811 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in 2022.
Irsay made it clear that the Colts had zero intentions of trading away their star back at any point this season.
“We’re not trading Jonathan Taylor. Not now and not in October,” Irsay said Saturday.
According to ESPN NFL reporter Stephen Holder, Taylor reported for training camp and complained of ‘back pain that was deemed to be from a pre-existing issue.’
Source to ESPN: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor reported to training camp complaining of back pain that was deemed to be from a pre-existing issue. The team is now considering placing him on the non-football injury list, which could result in his not being paid for the regular season.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 31, 2023
A decision on whether to place Taylor on the non-football injury list could possibly come within a week, per Holder’s report.
The team is still working through things but a decision could come within a week, according to the source.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 31, 2023
Taylor is currently on the PUP list, which does not affect a player's salary.
We’ll see what the Colts ultimately decide to do, but this continues to appear as a situation with no clear resolution in sight for all parties involved. Either way, whether or not Indianapolis decides to place Taylor on the non-football injury list will certainly be something to monitor in the days ahead.