Jonathan Taylor Ruled Out Sunday vs. Patriots
NFL Week 9 - The Indianapolis Colts have officially ruled out running back Jonathan Taylor in the team's Week 9 game against the New England Patriots, according to a report from the Colts' Twitter account.
This is the third game in five weeks that Taylor has missed with an ankle injury. Taylor also did not play in Week 5's contest against the Denver Broncos, nor did he play in the Week 6 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The NFL's reigning rushing leader is off to the worst start of his three-year career, with his -57.5% DVOA and -54 DYAR both ranking last among 38 qualified running backs.
The Indianapolis Colts traded backup running back Nyheim Hines to the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, leaving Deon Jackson and Zack Moss as the two rostered running backs available for the Colts game on Sunday.
The New England Patriots defense has struggled against the run this season, currently ranking 27th in defensive rushing DVOA. In most games, However, New England's biggest weakness has been against running quarterbacks, not running backs. Their two worst games by rushing DVOA have come against mobile quarterbacks. The Patriots allowed a 40.5% defensive rushing DVOA against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, led by Lamar Jackson's 107 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Their 24.0% defensive rushing DVOA performance against the Chicago Bears saw the Patriots give up 82 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries by Justin Fields.
Second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger was touted for his rushing ability out of college, rushing for 1903 yards in four years at the University of Texas. While Ehlinger finished with a negative rushing DVOA in his first NFL start, the Colts did design run plays specifically for Ehlinger.