Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack broke his hand last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that left fantasy football owners scrambling. Jonathan Williams impressed when he replaced Mack in Week 11, but Nyheim Hines remained a viable option and Jordan Wilkins was expected to return from his ankle injury.
Williams was looking like the starter for Week 12, but early in the week, Colts head coach Frank Reich said we could see a split between Williams and Wilkins. We know not to trust everything coaches say, and it became clear we should not have trusted Reich on this.
On Thursday afternoon, we heard a couple reports that said Williams would be the starter. He ended up getting the start, and he excelled in a workhorse role. He rushed 26 times for 104 yards and a touchdown, and also caught three passes for 17 yards.
Hines had a busy night himself, rushing nine times and catching two of three targets. But Wilkins was almost entirely absent. He had no touches after it seemed like he would be a part of the game plan.
Following the game, Reich announced that Wilkins was only active as an emergency option. Thanks, Frank.
Jordan Wilkins was emergency-only at RB tonight. Reich says they were cautious given that they likely won’t have Mack for a couple of weeks— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) November 22, 2019
Mack’s status is uncertain following surgery on his right hand. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the injury is not thought to be season-ending, but one has to wonder if he’ll be back in time to impact fantasy playoffs. If the Colts stick around the playoff chase, maybe he is back in Week 15 or 16. If they slip out of it and it does not look like they’ll bounce back, maybe he eventually gets shut down for the season.
Whatever the case with Mack, we know he won’t be playing next week when the Colts face the Titans. The question will once again return as to what kind of workload Williams will have and how much, if at all, Wilkins will impact it. I’d guess Williams will get another sizable workload, but this appears to be an evolving situation.