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Taylor makes hefty workload pay off as Colts beat Vikings

Sun Sep 20 4:41pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox (81) makes a catch against Minnesota Vikings' Holton Hill (24) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Indianapolis Colts' Kenny Moore II (23) celebrates an interception with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts' Jonathan Taylor (28) runs against Minnesota Vikings' Eric Kendricks (54) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, right, is pressured by dIndianapolis Colts' Denico Autry (96) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Minnesota Vikings' Alexander Mattison (25) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts' Darius Leonard (53) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Minnesota Vikings' Alexander Mattison (25) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts' Julian Blackmon (32) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


INDIANANPOLIS (AP) Jonathan Taylor looked right at home in his first NFL start.

He made Sunday's hefty workload look pretty easy, too.

The 21-year-old running back rushed 26 times for 101 yards and scored a touchdown in his first NFL start, leading the Indianapolis Colts past Minnesota 28-11.

Taylor celebrated his first win inside Lucas Oil Stadium, after losing three Big Ten championship games in the stadium, in front of about 2,500 fans. He became the first Colts' rookie in eight years to top the 100-yard mark, and it helped Philip Rivers win his first game with Indy (1-1).

Taylor wasn't Indy's only impressive rookie.

Michael Pittman Jr. caught four passes for 37 yards, Julian Blackmon tipped the ball to Khari Willis for an interception and Rodrigo Blankenship made all four of his field-goal attempts.

The Colts had a nearly 17-minute edge in time of possession, too, as they improved to 12-0 all-time against the Vikings in home games.

It was another ugly day for Minnesota. Kirk Cousins had a 0.0 passer rating late into the third quarter, thanks in part to drops, one of which sailed through the hands of Bisi Johnson and into the arms of Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II.

It was that kind of day for Minnesota, which is 0-2 for the first time since 2013 and has lost five of its past six games including last season's playoff loss.

Cousins was 11 of 26 with 113 yards and three interceptions and was tackled in the end zone for a safety for the second straight week.

Minnesota took a 3-0 lead on its opening possession, but Taylor's 5-yard TD run early in the second quarter gave Indy a 7-3 lead. The safety made it 9-3 and Blankenship made three field goals before Zach Pascal caught a 2-yard TD pass from Rivers to make it 25-3.

Dalvin Cook scored on a 5-yard run before the Vikings closed out the scoring with a 2-point conversion in the waning minutes.

INJURIES

Vikings: Linebacker Anthony Barr, a four-time Pro Bowler, did not return after injuring his shoulder in the first half and running back Mike Boone entered the concussion protocol in the second half.

Colts: Starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin showed up to Lucas Oil Stadium with a stomach illness and went to a local hospital for further evaluation. Receiver Parris Campbell was carted off the field after hurting his left knee on the Colts second play and backup linebacker Matthew Adams was helped off the field with a left ankle injury. Safety Malik Hooker also did not finish the game after hurting his Achilles tendon.

SAFETY DANCE

According to Pro Football Reference, the only other time Minnesota had safeties in back-to-back games was December 2007.

But now it's actually happened in three straight - going back to last season's regular-season finale.

Cousins didn't actually go down this time, bullying his way out of the end zone. The refs ruled he was in the grasp. That made it 9-3 with 4:54 and came after Rigoberto Sanchez pinned the Vikings at the 2-yard line on Indy's first punt of the season.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Return home to face Tennessee next Sunday.

Colts: Can have up to 7,500 fans at next week's home game against the New York Jets.

Player Notes
Aaron Jones Oct 24 7:20pm ET

After coming down with a calf strain at practice on Friday, Aaron Jones is now expected to miss the Week 7 game against the Texans. This is a tough one for fantasy football managers, as Jones has been a reliable RB1 all season long and may be difficult to replace in fantasy lineups on short notice. Fourth-year running back Jamaal Williams is now expected to act as the lead RB, but rookie AJ Dillon will be in the mix as well and should see more touches than usual. Dexter Williams was added to the Packers active roster on Saturday as well for additional running back depth. Consider Williams a plug-and-play RB2/FLEX option, while Dillon looks more like an RB3/RB4 flier for deeper leagues. Both are also intriguing lower-cost options for DFS lineups, depending on the contest format.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Jones Oct 24 7:03pm ET

Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (calf) isn't expected to play Sunday, Oct. 25, and the team is planning on him not playing, according to sources Saturday, Oct. 24.

Fantasy Spin: It's a big blow for fantasy managers. Packers RBs Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon and Dexter Williams should all play roles with Dillon being the most appealing for fantasy purposes.

From TheHuddle

Rashard Robinson Oct 24 7:03pm ET

Dallas Cowboys DB Rashard Robinson (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad injured list Saturday, Oct. 24.

From TheHuddle

Mike Daniels Oct 24 6:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals DT Mike Daniels was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. DB Winston Rose was also promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.

From TheHuddle

Edmond Robinson Oct 24 6:33pm ET

Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards and LB Edmond Robinson were added to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 24, as COVID-19 replacements.

From TheHuddle

Tevin Coleman Oct 24 5:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (knee) has an 'outside chance' of returning in Week 8, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Saturday, Oct. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Coleman should be stashed now wherever available with RB Raheem Mostert going on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday.

From TheHuddle

Tyler Higbee Oct 24 5:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) is officially listed as questionable for the game Monday, Oct. 26, against the Chicago Bears after getting in a limited practice Saturday, Oct. 24.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Donald Oct 24 5:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams DL Michael Brockers (non-injury) and CB Troy Hill (non-injury) didn't practice Saturday, Oct. 24, but don't carry injury designations for Week 7. DL Aaron Donald (non-injury) and OL Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) practiced in full and don't carry injury designations.

From TheHuddle

Tyler Higbee Oct 24 5:13pm ET

Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) is hopeful to play Monday, Oct. 26, according to head coach Sean McVay Saturday, Oct. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Higbee had a season-high 56 yards with three catches on four targets in Week 6. He's a low-tier TE1 when on the field.

From TheHuddle

Robert Woods Oct 24 5:13pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods (groin) was a limited participant at practice Saturday, Oct. 24, but doesn't carry an injury designation into the Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 26.

Fantasy Spin: Woods will be a somewhat risky WR3 play in what's projected as a low-scoring game against the Bears.

From TheHuddle

Alex Okafor Oct 24 5:03pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs DE Alex Okafor (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24.

From TheHuddle

Chris Thompson Oct 24 5:03pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Chris Thompson was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Oct. 24.

From TheHuddle

Raheem Mostert Oct 24 4:53pm ET

Updating previous stories, San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) was officially placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. S Johnathan Cyprien and S Jared Mayden were activated from the team's practice squad. WR Jauan Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

From TheHuddle

Daren Bates Oct 24 4:43pm ET

Tennessee Titans DB Dane Cruikshank was activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24. OL David Quessenberry and LB Daren Bates were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.

From TheHuddle

A.J. Bouye Oct 24 4:43pm ET

Denver Broncos CB A.J. Bouye, DE Dre'Mont Jones and DE DeMarcus Walker were activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24. CB De'Vante Bausby was released in a corresponding move. Free-agent DL Sylvester Williams (Broncos) was re-signed to the practice squad. RB Jeremy Cox and LB Nigel Bradham will be elevated from the practice squad to the game-day roster for Sunday, Oct. 25.

From TheHuddle

David Irving Oct 24 4:33pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders DE David Irving and CB Dylan Mabin were activated from the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 24.

From TheHuddle

Jayrone Elliott Oct 24 4:23pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Trey Edmunds and LB Jayrone Elliott were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24.

From TheHuddle

Eric Saubert Oct 24 4:23pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Devine Ozigbo (hamstring) was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. S Doug Middleton and TE Eric Saubert were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.

From TheHuddle