Veteran running back Phillip Lindsay is looking for an opportunity to regain his Pro Bowl form from his rookie season. But it won’t happen with the Indianapolis Colts.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Colts have released Lindsay. The 28-year-old running back was competing this preseason to be Indianapolis’ No. 3 running back behind starter Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines.
The Colts signed Lindsay to a one-year contract on May 17.
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Lindsay’s 2021 Struggles
Lindsay rushed for more than 1,000 yards during each of his first two NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos. As a rookie, he made the Pro Bowl team, posting 1,278 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns.
But it has been tough sledding for the former undrafted rookie since then. In 2020, he only played 11 games because of injuries and his yards per carry average dropped to 4.3. Two years prior as a rookie, Lindsay posted 5.4 yards per rush.
Then last season, Lindsay couldn’t gain any traction while playing for the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins. In 14 games, including one start, with both teams combined, Lindsay averaged 2.8 yards per carry. Overall, he rushed for 249 yards and a touchdown in 2021.
This summer, it appeared Lindsay would have an opportunity to get back closer to his Pro Bowl form in 2022. Barring an injury, he wouldn’t receive a lot of touches with the Colts, but behind the Indianapolis offensive line, Lindsay was going to have the chance to be more efficient.
But in Indianapolis’ eyes, he didn’t do enough to earn a roster spot. In three preseason games with the Colts, Lindsay rushed for 55 yards and scored a touchdown. He averaged 3.4 yards per carry.
Indianapolis’ Running Back Depth
More cuts will be reported and announced on August 30 as every NFL team narrows down its roster to 53 players before the 4 pm deadline. So the Colts’ running back depth chart is likely going to change again very soon.
But as of Lindsay’s release, the Colts have five running backs still remaining on the roster.
Obviously, Taylor is the starter in the Indianapolis backfield. On August 28, the NFL Top 100 list revealed players around the league voted Taylor the fifth-best player in the NFL heading into the 2022 season. In 2021, Taylor had 552 more rushing yards than any other running back in the league.
Hines is expected to have a big 2022 season too. NFL media personality and former Colts defensive back Darius Butler predicted on August 18 that Hines “might catch 100 balls this year.”
The other three running backs still on the Colts roster are Deon Jackson, Ty’Son Williams and D’vonte Price.
Lindsay was expected to be the team’s No. 3 running back, with those other three backs competing for perhaps the final roster spot at running back. Obviously, that won’t be the case.
Jackson, Williams, and Price are all less experienced than Lindsay, but they are also younger and probably have a higher ceiling at this point in their careers. Jackson was an undrafted rookie last year and played in nine games for the Colts.
The Colts could also potentially target signing a running back cut from another team after August 30.
With surprising Lindsay cut, it will be interesting to see what else the Colts have planned for their running back depth.
UPDATE: NFL insider Adam Schefter reported the Colts have also released D’Vonte Price.