In the absence of Jonathan Taylor for the start of the 2023 season, Shane Steichen says he will strategically divvy up the workload between Zack Moss, Deon Jackson and rookie Evan Hull. Steichen said Monday, “whoever’s got the hot hand, let ‘em ride a little bit.”
Each of the three backs brings a different element to the Colts backfield. Zack Moss played for the Buffalo Bills three years next to Josh Allen. Moss understands what playing next to a QB who runs and passes is like. Moss would most definitely get the starting role had he not broken his arm during training camp and been forced to sit out for a month. He is expected to suit up in Week 1 to play the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars but is not expected to be too involved given the injury.
Deon Jackson is the next man in the rotation that offers the speed of the three. His speed alongside rookie QB Anthony Richardson could play well for the Colts offense. In 2022, Jackson was used as the team’s No. 2 rusher to Jonathan Taylor, filling in in Weeks 5, 6, and 9 when Taylor was unable to play. He drew the start in two of the contests while averaging over five catches per game. He also led the backfield in targets over the final four weeks of the season.
Hull, a fifth-round pick and possible steal, was drafted as a third-down back and could remain in that pass-catching role to open the season. Hull played for Northwestern and spent his last two seasons there as a huge producer, posting back-to-back seasons with a 35% dominator rating. Hull also hauled in 87 passes for 800 receiving yards in his time at Northwestern.
Each of the three backs bring a different element to the Colts backfield. Steichen is leaving the door open for one to earn more reps by “bursting out of the gate.” Hull rising the ranks in the backfield should be of no surprise. He may be the best long-term options in the Colts backfield.