Well, Colts GM Chris Ballard might be playing hardball with running back Jonathan Taylor.
Mike Chappell of Fox 59/CBS 4 reports the Colts are is considering placing Taylor on the non-football injury list. Taylor is currently listed as physically unable to perform.
“Suffered some sort of back injury while training on his own in Arizona,” Chappell tweeted. “Also still in rehab after ankle surgery in January.”
The ankle injury is a covered football activity that guarantees his salary if he can’t play. The back injury would not be covered, allowing the Colts not to pay him.
It’s delicate territory. It’s one thing for Taylor to get injured while hang gliding or mountain climbing or no matter what. It’s another thing for him to get injured while he’s getting ready for the season. Teams usually (but not always) protect players who are injured while doing something other than watching bowling and eating pork belly in their spare time.
When Ballard explained to #PFTPM in May 2022 that he wants players who want to be on the team, he left open the possibility of taking a hard line.
“Mike Tomlin says it best,” Ballard explained. “I always say, ‘You want volunteers.’ You want people who want to be here, so when you get a player who doesn’t want to be in your organization anymore, you can play hardball – which we all do sometimes — but you want volunteers. You want people who want to be here.”
If Ballard intends to play hardball, he either has a good reason to (he’s a very good man who really cares about players) or his hands are tied by owner Jim Irsay.
Either way, an ugly situation can soon become even uglier.