Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor could lay claim to the title of "Best Running Back in the NFL," and he could also be called "Mr. Dependable."
Taylor had an incredible-ironman streak come to an end when he missed practice on Wednesday nursing a toe injury.
Adam Schefter reported on Twitter that when Taylor missed practice on Wednesday, it was his first missed practice... ever.
"An Ironman streak quietly came to an end Wednesday, when Colts’ RB Jonathan Taylor missed his first football practice due to a toe injury," wrote Schefter. "Until Wednesday, Taylor never missed a practice at Salem High School in New Jersey, at Wisconsin, or with Indianapolis."
To not miss a practice in nearly 10 years and nearly 2,000 carries is frankly... remarkable.
Head coach Frank Reich has been cognizant of the workload Taylor has carried his first two seasons in the NFL (and prior), and has said in the past that balancing his carries is a priority.
"We exactly went through that whole exercise," said head coach Frank Reich on using past performance to help form a plan for Taylor. "(We) looked at every back who’s had a lot of touches, how many touches did they have in their career, what was the flow of their career?"
"That’s what we do. Like you guys, we lay awake at night looking at all those numbers once you get to the offseason," Reich said in September on the subject of wearing down Taylor. "With JT (Jonathan Taylor), does he fall into that same category as those guys? What’s going to be our number?"
"I sat down with the offensive staff, I still remember the meeting, and we talked through not only JT, we talked through every player on our offense," said Reich. "What it could look like. What would the ideal scenario be? How many touches would JT get? How many would Nyheim (Hines) get? How many would (Michael) Pittman Jr. get? What about our receiver core? This young group of receivers, how are we mixing it up with them?"
"What about our tight ends? At that time we hadn’t even drafted yet. So, wasn’t sure what that was going to look like. In base, ideally, how many does our tight end room get?"
Now that Taylor has had his streak broken, he may be more willing to take veteran-rest days the rest of his career. It was certainly a point of pride for him that he never missed practice, but now it's more important to him and the Colts to focus on not missing games and prolonging his career.