According to ESPN’s Stephen Holder, the contentious relationship between the Indianapolis Colts and star running back Jonathan Taylor recently began with a requested assessment from the team’s medical staff regarding his surgically repaired ankle before training camp:
“Much of Taylor’s bitterness originated from a request by the team for Taylor to return to Indianapolis in advance of training camp so its medical staff could assess him, multiple sources said,” writes Holder. “The team saw it as a reasonable request, sources said, after Taylor underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle Jan. 25. It was a minimally invasive procedure during which small incisions were made to remove debris. Taylor was expected to make a full recovery in a few weeks to a month.”
“But Taylor viewed the request warily, according to sources. He believed it was part of an effort to pressure him to return to the field for the start of camp, despite his stance that he needed more time to recover.”
That initial request wasn’t received fondly by Taylor and may have been the spark that ignited what’s now a deteriorating situation between the franchise and its former NFL-All-Pro workhorse running back.
From my perspective, that medical request may have just been the boiling over point for Taylor, as there’s presumably been a lot of pent up frustration in his mind regarding the league’s declining valuation of elite running backs—with him otherwise, in-line for potentially a major pay day.
That, compiled with some of the public comments recently made by team owner Jim Irsay may have only added to Taylor and his representation’s building frustrations.
That being said, at the end of the day, this is about money, and whether the Colts and Taylor can eventually find some middle ground and repair a fractured relationship, so that he can continue to play football in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future.