Phillip Lindsay’s signing to the Colts must mean a change of role for Nyheim Hines

The Indianapolis Colts have added veteran running back Phillip Lindsay to an already stacked backfield, but that could be a sign of change for Nyheim Hines.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Indianapolis Colts made a surprising free agency move by signing veteran running back Phillip Lindsay to a one-year contract.

Lindsay played last season with the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins after beginning her career spending three years with the Denver Broncos.

The reason this move is such a surprise is because the Colts already have the NFL’s best running back in Jonathan Taylor. Behind Taylor is Nyheim Hines, a player Indy has publicly expressed a desire to use more.

Also, Indianapolis had a quality third running back last season in Marlon Mack and he became an inactive player because Indy didn’t need him. With Mack now with the Texans, it’s a shock to see the Colts get another third running back.

However, this acquisition could signal changes to Indy’s offense. Specifically, it could mean that Nyheim Hines will take on more of a passer role.

Phillip Lindsay could allow Colts to use Nyheim Hines as pass catcher

It wouldn’t make much sense for Indianapolis to bring in Lindsay if he was just going to be RB3. In reality, he’ll probably be more like RB2 and Hines will amount to something of a hybrid between a running back and a slot receiver.

With the Colts still needing more quality receivers, it makes sense to be more creative with Hines and put him in a role that allows him to use his running and pass-catching ability.

Hines has always been good at catching the ball out of the backfield. As a rookie, he caught 63 passes for 425 yards. Year two was 44 receptions for 320 yards.

With Philip Rivers in 2020, Hines had his best season catching 63 passes for 482 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers fell to 40 receptions for 310 yards last season partly because of play calls and partly because of Carson Wentz’s style of play.

However, Matt Ryan is now the Colts quarterback, and he has a habit of throwing the ball to his running backs. He and Hines have previously spoken about the connection they are already building.

Additionally, Frank Reich said Hines is a weapon they need to be more intentional about getting involved. The Colts should be able to get Nyheim Hines into the passing game with Phillip Lindsay now in the backfield.

Rebecca R. Santistevan