Indianapolis Colts Offseason Spotlight: Tyler Goodson

Indianapolis Colts' running back Tyler Goodson has a chance to carve out a role in 2024.
Indianapolis Colts running back Tyler Goodson (31) listens to pregame jams over the stadium sound system, during warmups of Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis Colts running back Tyler Goodson (31) listens to pregame jams over the stadium sound system, during warmups of Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium. / Robert Scheer / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Indianapolis Colts wisely extended superstar running back Jonathan Taylor last season. With former backup Zack Moss now with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Colts' depth chart behind Taylor is wide open heading into training camp.

One name to watch in camp this offseason is running back Tyler Goodson. Goodson, 24, is entering his third year in the NFL and his second season with the Colts. He spent his rookie year with the Green Bay Packers before being waived prior to this past season. The Colts' scooped Goodson up on their practice squad, and he appeared in six games down the stretch late last year.

In limited playing time, Goodson totaled 13 carries for 87 yards on the ground for the Colts in 2023. He also hauled in six of his nine targets for an additional 34 yards through the air. Those numbers are far from flashy, but an explosive player with 6.3 yards per touch last season could be a player to watch in this highly anticipated camp battle at running back.

Today, let's dive into Goodson's overall game and break down why he could be a surprise for this team in training camp this offseason.

Productive on the Ground

Goodson was called up from the Colts' practice squad in week 13 last season. He saw a total of just 50 snaps, touching the ball on 19. His biggest game of the year came in week 15 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he totaled 79 yards on 13 total touches.

Goodson, in his limited exposure last season, was the lightning to Trey Sermon/Zack Moss' thunder in the ground game. He isn't an overly powerful runner but he makes up for that deficiency with his quick feet and explosive running style. The Colts featured him as the change-of-pace back last year and used him to get to the edge out of tighter 12 personnel sets.

Three of his explosive runs against the Steelers were due to his speed and agility with the ball in his hands.

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Pass Catching Ability

The most important trait that a depth running back can bring to the table is a strength in the passing game. A second or third string running back has to be able to pass catch, and pass block, at a high level in order to make the team.

Goodson's promising year with the Colts will forever be shrouded by that fourth down drop against the Houston Texans in week 18, but the team clearly believed in him for that type of role. He was used on several wheel routes in his short stint on the roster and the Colts wanted to get him the ball out in space with his speed and quickness.

He made a few nice plays out in space on the few catch opportunities he had last season.

Taking the Next Step

The most important step for Goodson to take this offseason is to forget the dark cloud that hangs over the end of 2023. He had productive flashes in his first season with the Colts, and he can't let one mistake carry over into the next offseason.

In terms of his overall play, Goodson could stand to get a bit stronger in order to create more missed tackles in the run game. Despite averaging 6.3 yards per touch last season, he forced just one missed tackle. If he wants to be a true game-changer at the RB3 role, he needs to be the type of explosive player that can also make plays when the design isn't perfect.

From there, it's all about consistency in the young player. Consistently hitting his landmarks in both the run and the pass game, staying sound in his assignments, and making things happen with the few opportunities he does get on offense. He has the traits to be a productive running back in the NFL, he just needs to keep taking positive steps forward like he did for most of last season.

The Bottom Line

The Colts' running back depth chart is firmly up for grabs behind Jonathan Taylor this offseason. While Trey Sermon is likely the clubhouse leader for the second running back job, Evan Hull and Tyler Goodson both have a chance to push the veteran in camp. Goodson may be the forgotten man in the group, but his flashes last season were the strongest of the group of depth players.

Overall, it will be a fascinating depth chart battle to watch for the Colts in camp. All three players have a shot to earn the opportunity of a lifetime behind Taylor in 2024.

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Zach Hicks

ZACH HICKS

Zach Hicks is the Lead Analyst for HorseshoeHuddle.com. Zach has been on the NFL beat since 2017. His works have appeared on SBNation.com, the Locked On Podcast Network, BleacherReport.com, MSN.com, & Yardbarker.com.