Colts Sign Former Rookie Star, Pro Bowl Running Back: Report

Frank Reich

Getty Head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts signed a former Pro Bowl running back.

The Indianapolis Colts and general manager Chris Ballard continue to be busy adding depth to their roster.

On May 17, the Colts signed 2018 Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay according to multiple reports. NFL insider Ian Rapoport retweeted the news from NFL Pro Scouting Director Mike McCartney of Vayner Sports. McCartney is Lindsay’s agent.

The financial details of the one-year deal have not yet been disclosed.

Lindsay has played for three teams in his career. Last season, he rushed for 249 yards and a touchdown while playing for the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins.

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Phillip Lindsay Burst Onto the Scene With the Denver Broncos

Despite 3,770 rushing yards in his college career at Colorado, including 1,474 yards on the ground as a senior, Lindsay went unselected in the 2018 NFL Draft. But receiving a chance as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos, Lindsay became a star with the chance to start as a rookie.

In 2018, Lindsay rushed for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns. His 5.4 yards per carry average was tied for second best among qualified running backs that season. He also had 35 catches for 241 receiving yards and a touchdown on his way to the Pro Bowl.

Lindsay again played well in his second season, finishing 2019 with 1,011 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Overall, Lindsay posted 2,485 yards from scrimmage and 17 total touchdowns during his first two NFL seasons.

But in 2020, Lindsay dealt with injuries and then struggled to carve out a role with new teams during 2021. With the Broncos in 2020, he rushed for 502 yards in 11 games. He recorded just 125 touches after a career-high 259 touches in 2019.

Last season, he reached new career lows in yards per carry and yards from scrimmage. Lindsay also started just one game despite playing for two non-playoff teams.

Over his four-year career, Lindsay’s yards per carry average has dipped every season (5.4 to 4.5 to 4.3 to 2.8). He was a great feel-good story immediately coming out of college, but his small frame appears to finally be the liability that it was expected to be.

Standing at 5-foot-8 and 190-pounds, Lindsay went undrafted in part because he is undersized.


How Phillip Lindsay Fits With the Indianapolis Colts

The Colts running back room was pretty crowded even before signing Lindsay. With Lindsay, it’s loaded with talent, and Indianapolis will likely have very difficult decisions about which backs to keep.

Obviously, the Colts deploy the league’s reigning leading rusher in Jonathan Taylor. On May 17, NFL analyst Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus ranked Taylor the No. 3 overall player in the league 25 or younger.

Veteran back Nyheim Hines sits just behind Taylor on the depth chart. Ballard and Colts head coach Frank Reich have talked extensively with the media about having Hines more involved in the passing game this season.

The Colts also signed three undrafted rookies at running back — D’vonte Price, C.J. Verdell and Max Borghi. On May 5, NFL senior writer Nick Baumgardner labeled Borghi as the undrafted rookie to watch for the Colts.

Indianapolis also has 2021 undrafted free agent running back Deon Jackson. While he mostly spent last year on the practice squad, Jackson also recorded 31 rushing yards and a touchdown with 13 carries.

The way the Colts running back room is shaping up, three undrafted rookies and two former undrafted free agents, including Lindsay, will compete for the running back spots behind Taylor and Hines this season.

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