“Look, We’re Excited To Have Jonathan Taylor Back” | Colts Owner Jim Irsay Speaks On Star Running Back’s Return From Awkward PUP List Stint

To say the relationship between the Indianapolis Colts and star running back Jonathan Taylor is frosty, would be far too kind.

In fact, both parties working together for the betterment of the team is about all each side can hope for following team owner Jim Irsay’s decision not to give Taylor a long-term extension as he heads into the final season of his rookie deal.

Following Taylor’s meeting with Irsay to discuss a new deal, in which Irsay told him when the time is right, Taylor inexplicably ended up on the injured list.

The Colts claimed the former Wisconsin Badgers star complained of back pain in his pre-camp physical, while Taylor said he never did such a thing.

The team also says Taylor missed all of training camp because he’s still recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered last season. After three weeks of not much talking going on, the sides seem amicable enough to try and get through the 2023 season, and then see what happens in free agency. 

Irsay Talks Taylor During Preseason Game

During this past weekend’s Colts and Bears preseason matchup, Irsay joined the broadcast team of Greg Rakestraw and Rick Venturi to discuss the team’s 2023 outlook. And of course the first topic of business was what’s going on with Taylor, the NFL’s 2021 rushing leader. 

“Look, we’re excited to have Jonathan Taylor back,” the Colts owner said. “I know these things are always difficult. I respect anytime people are trying to fight for their position and their families and all those things. I’ve been around it so long that I just think the big thing is, OK, timing is everything. We’re really looking forward to him playing his way into being the Jonathan Taylor he was.”

Due to make $4.3 million this season, Taylor has been seeking an extension that matches his value.

And, while that probably won’t happen before the season begins, Taylor’s value can’t be understated. In 2023, Taylor’s value should increase, as will his workload, with the team starting rookie and No. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson under center.

Any young QB’s best friend is a strong running game. A great pass-catching tight end is essential as well.

Irsay Claims It’s All About Getting Taylor Healthy First

Irsay talked about a bevy of topics, and he also never once mentioned changing his stance on giving Taylor the extension he’s seeking prior to the season. At the same time, Irsay is also talking in circles.

“We’re doing everything we can to support him and embrace him as a Colt because he’s a great young man,” Irsay said. “I can’t say enough about him or his family.”

First-year Colts head coach Shane Steichen says Taylor is still recovering and won’t play until he’s 100 percent. 

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