Jonathan Taylor ruled out of Thursday's Colts-Broncos game

The Indianapolis Colts have ruled running back Jonathan Taylor out of Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos with an ankle injury.

Taylor injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans. He'd hoped to play against the Broncos, but the turnaround for a Thursday night game proved to be too short.

The reigning NFL rushing champion, Taylor has tallied 328 yards and a touchdown through four games. He has added nine catches for 44 yards. Nyheim Hines is next up on the Colts' running back depth chart.

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Taylor's per-game rushing average has dropped from 106.5 yards last season to 82 in 2022 while his per-carry average has dropped from 5.5 yards to 4. His struggles coincide with a sluggish Colts offense helmed by first-year quarterback Matt Ryan that's produced a league worst 14.3 points per game through four weeks. They were shut out in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A Colts team that was expected to compete for the AFC South is 1-2-1.

Sep 18, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs off the field after the Indianapolis Colts are defeated by the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Taylor will not play against the Broncos. (Douglas DeFelice/Reuters)

Colts down multiple key players vs. Broncos

The Colts will also be without their best defender against the Broncos. Head coach Frank Reich announced on Monday that All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard won't play after sustaining a concussion Sunday. He remains in concussion protocol, as does backup defensive end Tyquan Lewis.

Starting safety Justin Blackmon will also miss Thursday's game with an ankle injury.