It was a brutal beatdown for the Indianapolis Colts suffered at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, or rather, at the fists of All-Pro running back Derrick Henry -- who mauled a normally stout Matt Eberflus defense for 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries. It didn't help that the Colts offense couldn't get anything going on the ground themselves, Nyheim Hynes being the team's leading rusher with only 29 yards and zero touchdowns on 10 totes. That's likely to change in Week 13 though, because the absence of a ground attack against the Titans was largely due to absence of running back Jonathan Taylor.
Taylor was moved to the team's COVID/Reserve list ahead of Week 12, but he's now been activated and is readying to take on the Houston Texans, head coach Frank Reich announced on Wednesday. It's great news for a Colts team who now find themselves trying to chase down the Titans atop the AFC South, knowing their playoff fate -- primarily seeding, as it stands -- is tied to their ability to string together wins to close out the regular season. They split the 2020 series with the Titans, shrinking their margin for error going forward.
Having Taylor in tow is key, with the rookie second-round pick establishing himself as a key offensive weapon for Philip Rivers and the Colts offense. Taylor leads the team in rushing and rushing touchdowns this season with 518 yards and four visits to the end zone, but also provides an element of duality in his ability to become a receiver out of the backfield. To the latter point, he's reeled in 227 receiving yards to help complement Hines in that regard.
Taylor and Hines have become quite the RB tandem in Indy but the rookie on the field last week due to COVID-19 protocols, the Colts level of difficulty in keeping pace with Henry was drastically increased before the game even got underway. That won't be an issue on Sunday though, as the Texans can look forward to trying to halt the former two-time Unanimous All-American out of Wisconsin.