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Indianapolis Colts’ RB picture becoming more clear in Jonathan Taylor’s absence

The Indianapolis Colts’ regular season opener is approaching fast, and we still don’t have complete confidence in who the starting running back will be against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. We know it won’t be All-Pro RB Jonathan Taylor, who’s set to miss at least the first four weeks of the season while working his way back from ankle and back injuries.

For now, Taylor is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which keeps him out for at least the first four weeks of the season, if not longer. This only gives another Colts running back a fresh opportunity in Taylor’s absence.

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It appeared Zack Moss was in line to fill in as the Colts’ starter, but a broken forearm back in July has complicated matters. Moss did avoid the PUP list when rosters were trimmed from 90 to 53 players, but he’s still not on track for the season opener on September 10.

Instead, Deon Jackson is expected to be in the starting lineup for the Colts’ season opener, according to Aaron Wilson of KPCR2. Fifth-round rookie Evan Hull will serve as the backup.

Jackson, 24, is set to enter his third season after joining the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Duke in 2021. Although he’s not a household name, those who pay close attention to the Colts may remember Jackson making two starts last season while Taylor missed time due to injury. Those particular starts, against Jacksonville and New England, delivered mixed results.

  • Deon Jackson vs. Jacksonville: 12 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD, 10 receptions, 79 yards
  • Deon Jackson vs. New England: 11 carries, 23 yards, 2 receptions, 13 yards
  • Deon Jackson’s stats last season: 68 carries, 236 yards, 1 TD, 30 receptions, 209 yards, 1 TD

The Colts also have Jason Huntley and Jake Funk on the practice squad. Either or both could be elevated to the active roster on gameday to give the Colts more than just two ball carriers in the backfield, in addition to Anthony Richardson posing another threat.

Related: Indianapolis Colts are setting Anthony Richardson up for early failure with Jonathan Taylor mess

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