Losing Marlon Mack for the year to a torn Achilles, the Indianapolis Colts running back corps takes an early hit. With backs like Nyheim Hines and rookie Jonathan Taylor, the Colts could do well regardless, but adding some veteran depth could help them win some more games.
There’s concerns in Hines’ running game, considering he’s a small, pass-catching back. Taylor’s hype coming into this season was unreal, but to be honest, he didn’t look explosive at all in Week 1 against a shaky defense.
With that in mind, here are the top three options that the Colts could sign to replace the loss of Marlon Mack, a 1,000-yard rusher a season ago.
RBs Who Could Replace Loss of Marlon Mack
Devonta Freeman had back-to-back seasons of over 1,000 rushing yards in 2015 and 2016, but, since then, he’s fallen off a bit. In 2019, he only averaged 3.6 YPC, lower than his career average of 4.2. The Colts don’t need a wow factor running back in the slightest, that’s what they’re hoping they get out of Taylor. But, Freeman would supply some security to the backfield, as he doesn’t fumble the ball often. He can also contribute to the pass game, as he had 70 targets last season with Atlanta.
It’s clear that many teams passed on Freeman, as he’s been in free agency for all of 2020 so far. However, the Colts could use some security, after the loss of Mack, and Freeman can provide that.
Lamar Miller signed with the New England Patriots in early August, but was released early September, which means he’s still on the market. Miller has always been a solid back, as he’s averaged 4.3 YPC for his career, but didn’t play a game in 2019. He’s been out of the game for over two years now, but when he was playing for the Texans from 2016 to 2018, he carried the ball over 200 times each season. He’ll get those goal line carries and short yardage conversions. He isn’t prevalent in the passing game much at all, so if he does get signed, he’ll simply be there to lessen the workload of both Hines and Taylor.
Before you say anything, just listen. I know Derrius Guice’s career is likely over, due to his off-field actions, but he’s still there in free agency if the Colts wanted to take the chance. He’s a young guy, at only 23 years old, that looked good in college. Now, he’s only carried the ball five total times in the NFL so far because of injuries, and he was ready to play this season, but was involved in some off-field issues that ultimately led to his release from the Washington Football Team.
In those five carries, he averaged 5.8 YPC. If anyone were to take a chance on Guice, it’d likely be the Colts, who are in serious need of a power back to get those short yardage situations.