INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been an interesting nine days for the Indianapolis Colts’ offense.
The latest shockwave: trading versatile running back Nyheim Hines to the Buffalo Bills for running back Zack Moss an a conditional 2023 6th-round pick.
The deal was made just prior to the NFL’s 4 p.m. Tuesday deadline.
And it’s the latest shockwave to run through what has devolved into one of the NFL’s least productive offenses.
Earlier Tuesday, the Colts fired coordinator Marcus Brady. Last Monday, coach Frank Reich benched veteran quarterback Matt Ryan and named Sam Ehlinger the starter for the remainder of the season.
Hines had been the primary focus of trade possibilities regarding the Colts as the trade deadline neared. Several teams had expressed interest in the 2018 4th-round pick because of his running, receiving and return skills. He’s in the first year of a three-year, $18.6 million extension signed in September 2021.
In five seasons, Hines developed into a multi-dimensional threat for the Colts. He appeared in 72 games, 16 as a starter, and piled up 2,930 total yards and 17 touchdowns from scrimmage: 1,205 yards and 10 TDs on 300 rushing attempts and 1,725 yards and another seven TDs on 235 receptions.
He also is one of the NFL’s top punt returners, and set franchise records with 195 yards and two TDs on three returns against Carolina in 2019.
Hines’ productivity and impact lessened this season as the Colts’ offense struggled from the outset. He’s collected 188 yards on 25 receptions, but been limited to 36 yards on just 18 rushing attempts. He missed the majority of two games with a concussion.
Hines is leaving behind a franchise that’s 3-4-1 and an offense that ranks 18th in total yards, 29th in rushing and 30th in scoring.
He’s joining a team that’s 6-1 and considered a front-runner to win the Super Bowl. Buffalo’s offense is led by Josh Allen and ranks 1st in yards per game (430.6), 1st in passing (307.7), 14th in rushing (122.9) and 1st in scoring (29.0).
Hines also joins a backfield led by Devin Singletary (323 yards) and rookie James Cook (132 yards). Allen is the team’s second-leading rusher with 306 yards and two TDs.
Moss was the Bills’ 2020 3rd-round pick who has appeared in 31 games, all in relief. He’s rushed 225 times for 917 yards and eight TDs and caught 44 passes for 319 yards and two TDs.
This season, the 5-9, 205-pound Moss has 91 yards on 17 carries and 27 yards on seven receptions.
He joins a backfield led by Jonathan Taylor and Deon Jackson.
The Colts acquire Moss’ rookie contract and assume the final portion of his 2022 base salary ($543,750) as well as his $1.139 base salary in 2023.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.