INDIANAPOLIS – Marlon Mack’s comeback from a torn Achilles tendon might continue elsewhere.
The veteran running back has asked the Indianapolis Colts for a trade and the team is exploring that possibility, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Mack, 25, has made a full recovery from the Achilles injury he suffered in the 2020 season opener at Jacksonville, but has had had a difficult time getting playing time behind Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines after signing a one-year, $2 million contract in the offseason.
Mack was a healthy scratch in last Sunday’s loss at Tennessee. He was active but did not step on the field in the opener against Seattle and was on the field for 13 plays in week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams. In his only appearance, Mack had 16 yards on five attempts.
Prior to suffering the Achilles injury, Mack established himself as a legitimate feature back. The team’s 2017 fourth-round draft pick led the Colts in rushing in ’18 with 908 yards and nine touchdowns and followed that up with a career-high 1,091 yards and eight TDs.
Mack punctuated the best season of his brief career by setting a Colts’ playoff record with 148 yards on 24 carries in the team’s first-round win at Houston.
Prior to Mack’s season-ending injury in last year’s opener, the Colts used the second of their two 2020 second-round picks – 41st overall – on Taylor. Mack and Taylor were expected to give Indy a “one-one’’ punch in the run game.
But after Mack’s injury, it was Taylor who made an immediate impact by finishing third in the NFL in rushing with 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns.
After three weeks this season, Taylor has a team-best 171 yards on 42 carries and Nyheim Hines next with 64 yards on 16 attempts.
Mack is the only other running back with an attempt thus far, but Jordan Wilkins has proven to be a reliable backup if Mack is traded and an injury sidelines Taylor or Hines.
“He’s looked very good,’’ offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said Tuesday. “He looked good in week 2, too, when he played against the Rams.
“When you’ve got that much talent in the backfield, it is hard to share the wealth.’’
During training camp, Brady pointed out Mack “had some nice explosive runs. He’s making nice cuts; he’s always had great vision but you can see the cutting in the hole on the field.
“So you can see he’s fully healthy.’’
Mack re-signed with the Colts in mid-March, but only after considering offers elsewhere. His contract had expired at the end of 2020.
“There was a few interest from other teams,’’ he said at the time. “Indy was always a place that I would like to come back to. It was just being patient out there and listening to what teams had for me.
“Indy was the best place for me.’’
Six months later, that’s no longer the case.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.