Running backs don't have nearly the same impact as quarterbacks in today's game. However, they still have an important role on offense, and having a good one can increase your team's chances of winning a football game. All the teams in the AFC South know this. In particular, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a dynamic starter in Travis Etienne, who rushed for over 1,100 yards last year.
But Etienne isn't the only running back on the Jaguars' roster that could be a key contributor in 2023. Tank Bigsby, a third-round pick in this year's draft, was the talk of the town in training camp. And he validated the hype around him when he broke off a couple of long runs against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 of the preseason.
That said, Etienne and Bigsby face stout competition when it comes to choosing the best running back tandem in the division. So where does the Jaguars' duo rank among their peers? Here's an attempt to answer that question.
No. 4 AFC South RB 2023 Preseason Rankings: Indianapolis Colts
RB1 Jonathan Taylor (maybe)
RB2 Zack Moss
If this were 2020, the Indianapolis Colts would be at the top of this ranking. But it isn't and Indy currently faces a conundrum at running back. Not only is the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Jonathan Taylor recovering from the ankle injury that held him back last year but he also engage in a public quarrel with owner Jim Irsay.
Taylor's displeasure comes from his perceived value to the team. He wants to get a deal that reflects his status as one of the top offensive players in the league while Irsay doesn't even want to engage in contract talks.
The Colts and Taylor could end up finding common ground, even if it currently looks unlikely, in the upcoming weeks. But if they don't, Indianapolis might have a hard time running the ball next season. To make matters worse, Zack Moss, RB2 on Indy's depth chart, just broke their arm, so it looks like Taylor's potential absence and displeasure with his current compensation could loom large in 2023.