Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor will not play against the Steelers on Saturday, Colts head coach Shane Steichen said on Thursday. Taylor had thumb surgery on his injury and was projected to miss two to three weeks, but he did not practice all week and will not play this week. He could return in later weeks, but that means Zack Moss will start.
The team has been averaging just 2.5 yards per carry in the two games since Taylor was injured. That matters, although Moss has put together a solid season. He will look to carry the load and help the Colts offense and Gardner Minshew dice up this Steelers defnese.
Taylor and the Colts agreed to a new three-year, $42 million contract with $26.5 million in guaranteed money. He was on the physically unable-to-perform list with an ankle injury while also holding out for a new contract. He returned to game action and, in that limited action, has been serviceable but not entirely up to speed. But Moss has picked up the slack while Taylor has been down for multiple games this season.
That’s not the only player that will be out for the Colts. Starting right tackle Braden Smith is out with a knee injury. That means T.J. Watt should see a favorable matchup against the rookie Blake Freeland. However, it will be up to the Steelers to scheme the front well and get Watt those opportunities to blitz one-on-one.
Standout rookie cornerback JuJu Brents will play while dealing with a quad injury. That is a crucial boost for the Colts, who will need it against George Pickens and Diontae Johnson. The Colts’ run defense will be their focus, as running backs have gashed them in the past. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren could be in for a day where they make some noise.