INDIANAPOLIS – Jonathan Taylor offered a glimpse of his rehab routine as he deals with an injury to his right ankle that has forced him to miss at least the first four games of the season.
The Indianapolis Colts’ disgruntled running back posted a five-second video on his Instagram account Friday showing him running a route out of the backfield and catching an imaginary pass.
The clip was taken at the team’s indoor practice facility and is the first public instance of Taylor testing an ankle injury that is at the crux of him missing all of the Colts’ offseason workout program, training camp and opening the regular season on the reserve-physically unable to perform list (PUP). The latter move required missing the first four games of the season.
Taylor underwent surgery on Jan. 25, and the rehab time for the debridement procedure is approximately four weeks.
While Taylor has been doing rehab work at the team facility, a source told ESPN he’s then leaving the complex at the team’s request.
Taylor’s extended rehab has complicated his desire for a contract extension and a trade.
A source recently told ESPN Taylor is “going to pass his physical and could pass it today,’’ and added he is expecting to play as soon as the Colts’ week 5 game – Oct. 8 against the Tennessee Titans – which is the first game he can be added to the active roster.
Prior to that, a source told FOX59/CBS4 several prominent members of the Colts believed Taylor could have passed his physical when camp opened in late July.
When General Manager Chris Ballard offered an Aug. 30 update on the team’s impasse with Taylor, he said the 2020 second-round draft pick still was experiencing pain in his right ankle and that it was not 100%.
“We’re not going to put a player on the field that’s still complaining with pain in the ankle,’’ he said. “I wouldn’t do that to any player.’’
Ballard added he didn’t believe the team’s relationship with Taylor had reached the point of no return.
“Look, even when it gets hard, I won’t quit on a relationship. I won’t do it,’’ he said. I think too much of the young man. I think too much of what he’s given our organization and how hard he’s worked for us. The situation sucks. . . . it’s where we’re at and we’ve got to work through it and we’re going to do everything we can to work through it. Relationships are repairable.’’
The next step in Taylor’s return consists of him passing a team physical.
It’s possible he rejoins a team that desperately needs his play-making skills – he led the NFL and set a franchise record with 1,811 rushing yards in 2021 – but it’s also possible the Colts will find a trade partner.
Although the team initially dismissed Taylor’s trade request during the offseason, it allowed him and agent Malki Kawa to seek a trade beginning Aug. 23 through Aug. 29.
It was reported the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers discussed a trade with the Colts for Taylor, but neither team apparently was willing to meet the compensation request of a first-round draft pick or multi-pick package with similar value.
“Jonathan is valuable and at the end of the day, I’m not going to just let him walk out the door. I’m not going to do that,’’ Ballard said.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.