Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor issued a stark rebuttal Sunday night to reports that he’d suffered a back injury working out while away from the team this offseason, an injury that could lead to the Colts placing him on the non-football injury list.
If placed on NFI, the Colts could withhold Taylor’s pay under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Taylor, who has not spoken publicly about his desire for a contract extension since mid-June and hasn’t been available to the media since training camp began, broke his silence in response to the report.
“1) Never had a back pain,” Taylor wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “2.) Never reported back pain. … Not sure who ‘sources’ are, but find new ones.”
Taylor reported to training camp Tuesday and was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list, a designation for players who suffered an injury while playing, practicing or training with their teams.
Players on the PUP list still get paid.
A player on the NFI list is “not entitled to receive his salary, and his contract will continue to run while in such status,” according to the NFL. “That said, the team and player can negotiate a rate of payment for the player on this list.”
ESPN reported Sunday that Taylor had suffered a back injury while working out away from the team this offseason, and that the Colts were contemplating moving the running back to NFI, a decision that would be a significant escalation in the increasingly tense standoff between Taylor and the team over the state of his contract.
Taylor is headed into the final year of his rookie contract, and NFL teams typically try to extend key players before that final season begins. Indianapolis has extended several other drafted stars before the final season of their rookie contracts started in recent years, including left guard Quenton Nelson, linebacker Shaquille Leonard, right tackle Braden Smith, center Ryan Kelly and another running back, former Colt Nyheim Hines.
But Colts owner Jim Irsay has made it clear this week that the team does not plan to sign Taylor until after the season, and the team has not entered contract negotiations with the running back who has rushed for 3,841 yards and 33 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the team.
The two men met Saturday night in Irsay’s bus while the rest of the team practiced, but no resolution to the situation was reached, and news of Taylor’s trade request broke shortly after the end of Irsay’s comments to reporters. With news of Taylor’s trade request public, Irsay responded by stating that the Colts would not trade Taylor, either now or in October.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Jonathan Taylor refutes reports of injury suffered away from Colts