Mere minutes before the NFL’s trade deadline expired last November, the Buffalo Bills sent running back Zack Moss and a conditional 2023 sixth-round pick (which turned out to be a fifth-rounder) to the Indianapolis Colts in order to land Nyheim Hines.
While Hines suffered season-ending injuries in a freak jet-ski accident before the 2023 NFL season kicked off, Moss is seeing a career resurgence in Indianapolis as Jonathan Taylor remains on injured reserve. Moss, who missed the season opener due to a broken arm suffered in training camp, has since become a star on the Colts’ offense.
Reflecting on last year’s trade, Moss said on September 25 that he was grateful to be out of Buffalo. “Change is good,” he said, per ESPN’s Stephen Holder, who noted the running back moved “from a team that had not produced a 1,000-yard rusher since 2017 to one that ranked among the teams most committed to the running game.”
Moss said, “Being traded, I didn’t feel a certain way… I think I was more happy to be traded than to be in a situation where my skill set wasn’t going to allow me to do what I wanted to do.”
“I didn’t know if I was going to be getting 5, 10, 15, 30 carries,” Moss continued. “It really didn’t matter. I just wanted to be somewhere where I was appreciated for my skill set and that just wasn’t the plan… in Buffalo.”
One day earlier, during the Colts 19-16 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens on September 24, Moss recorded career highs in carries (30) and yards (122), along with two receptions and a touchdown. In his past three matchups, including Week 18 of last season, the Utah alum has tallied the best statistical games of his career.
If Taylor ultimately returns to the Colts’ offense, Moss’s numbers would obviously take a hit. But the veteran isn’t worried about that. “At the end of the day, J.T. is a hell of player,” Moss said. “I don’t really think no one cares what the stats look like, what the carries look like. As long as we’re coming out with a W.”
Zack Moss’ Role in Buffalo Diminished After the Bills Drafted James Cook
In the five games Moss appeared in with the Bills before the trade, he earned a 58.7 overall grade from PFF, recording 17 rushes for 91 yards, along with seven receptions for 27 yards. At the time, his role on offense diminished with Devin Singletary being the lead back and Buffalo’s 2022 second-round draft pick, James Cook, getting more snaps.
The 25-year-old said his trade to Indianapolis was initially a “hectic” experience, per Colts reporter JJ Stankevitz. Moss was enjoying his day off, playing NBA2K with friends when he received a call about 30 minutes before the deadline expired.
“3:30 you get a call and then 5 a.m. you’re flying out to a whole different environment, different people and you’re trying to figure out what do you pack, how much do you pack and everything like that,” Moss said. “So it’s been hectic.”
“It’s our first time ever being in this situation,” Moss said of his wife, Jess, and him. “So we just try to lean on people that we know that’ve been through this situation and try to get some pointers and things like that. But the Colts have a great staff, they’ve done a great job helping us, me and my wife just try to get through this process pretty smoothly and try to get back to normal life.”
Thus far this season, Moss has recorded 48 rushes for 210 yards and one touchdown, along with six catches for 42 yards and a score.
James Cook Is Now the No. 1 RB in Buffalo
While the Bills added Latavius Murray and Damien Harris in free agency this offseason, Cook is the team’s clear No. 1 back and pace to break 1,000 yards this season.
Thus far this season, the second-year running back, who’s recorded 267 yards on 44 rushing attempts ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards behind only Philadelphia Eagles’ De’Andre Swift (308), and San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey (353).
Cook will look to score his first rushing touchdown of the season when the Bills (2-1) host the Miami Dolphins (3-0) on Sunday, October 1.