Indianapolis Colts' General Manager Chris Ballard has not stayed quiet after the 2022 NFL Draft, as he has inked yet another veteran free agent to a one year deal. This time he has opted to bring in former Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay.
Lindsay, 28, is on the downswing of what was a fairly productive start to his NFL career. After rushing for 2,048 yards in his first two seasons in the league (on 4.9 yards per carry), Lindsay has seen his production and playing time drastically dip in recent years.
He appeared in 14 games last season, seeing time with both the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans. On the year, he rushed for 249 yards on 88 carries (just 2.8 yards per carry on the year).
In today's film room, I talk about the highlights in this veteran running backs' game and where he fits with this Colts' team in 2022.
Lindsay is a player that is built similarly to Colts' rusher Nyheim Hines. He is a smaller back, but he offers great size and speed to counteract that deficiency. Like Hines, Lindsay is at his best when he doesn't have to read and react out of the backfield. When he can just plant his foot and get downhill, Lindsay can find success on the ground.
One way the Colts have done this with Hines in the past is by involving him in plenty of trap/wham type of runs out of the backfield. These are perfect play designs for smaller/quicker backs that want to get downhill because it is typically a one-read run. These plays below are a good example, as Lindsay just has to plant his foot and get upfield for a solid gain.
Tough to Tackle
Lindsay is not a physically imposing back that defenders are scared to meet in the hole, but he is still plenty shifty with the ability to make defenders miss. While he had a poor season a year ago, he did force 65 missed tackles in his first two seasons of play in the NFL.
This obviously isn't a Jonathan Taylor-like absurd number, but it does show that Lindsay has been a player that has some wiggle in the open field. The main issue with last year is that he was rarely able to get into the open field. With the Colts, Lindsay should be able to find more open space on the few runs he sees in 2022.
Still Has Some Juice
Lindsay is a limited player that isn't the same player that he was back in 2018 with the Denver Broncos. He is, however, still a quality player that has a little bit of juice. According to Pro Football Reference, Lindsay had an average of 3.8 yards rushing before contact during his Pro Bowl 2018 season. Last year, he had just 1.9 yards before contact.
Lindsay is a linear player that can break off big runs when he has room. He just didn't have that space a year ago playing in two bad offenses. In Indy, he should have a bit more space to hit on big plays like this one below.
The Bottom Line
Phillip Lindsay is unlikely to see many snaps this season, as the bulk of the Colts' rushing attempts will be given to Jonathan Taylor (with some going to Nyheim Hines). Lindsay is, however, a great depth player to have as an RB3.
He may see some healthy scratches this year, but there are few free agents available that would have made more sense for this role than Lindsay. In Indy, he has a chance to run behind a good offensive line and he will be in line for a healthy workload if one of the top two guys go down.
If he can just show some special teams ability in the offseason, he may see the field quite a bit this year with the Colts. For now, he is likely locked into the Marlon Mack role from a year ago.
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