Colts retain Marlon Mack

Indy Blitz

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs for yardage against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts are giving one of their more promising young players an opportunity to resume his career.

Running back Marlon Mack, who saw his 2020 season end in the opener with a torn Achilles, has been re-signed to a one-year, $2 million contract, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Mack, a 2017 fourth-round draft pick, was in line to be an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. Wednesday, but now heads into his fifth season with the team. He reinforces a running backs room that includes 2020 leading rusher Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.

Taylor finished 3rd in the NFL is rushing as a rookie with 1,169 yards, but that came after Mack’s season ended in the September opener at Jacksonville. He rushed for 26 yards on four carries and had another 30 yards on three receptions before tearing his right Achilles.

The loss of Mack was huge. He was one of the Colts’ top presences on the field and in the locker room.

The injury, insisted general manager Chris Ballard in January “broke my heart. That sucked. That was hard. That was really hard and it was hard on him. I’ve watched him work his butt off all season to get back.

“Marlon deserves a contract. Unequivocally he deserves a contract a good contract. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do that here.’’

But the Colts decided otherwise.

They believe Mack’s return gives them one of the top running back groups in the NFL.

In his first three seasons, Mack rushed for 2,357 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had his best season in 2019: 1,091 yards and eight TDs. He set a franchise postseason record with 148 yards against Houston in a wild-card playoff game.

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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