INDIANAPOLIS – He wasn’t playing football again in 2020, but Marlon Mack was still going through the grind.
That included the daily COVID testing, rehabbing alongside his teammates who were prepping to do what Mack wanted to do and the ‘bittersweet’ feelings of watching Jonathan Taylor erupt late in the season.
Mack needed the Colts, even if he wouldn’t play another down after tearing his Achilles in the second quarter of the 2020 season opener.
“The mental process was tough,” Mack says of the early days after tearing his Achilles last September. “The first week it was tough, just testing, coming in and knowing you’re not going to be able to go on the field again for a while.
“But actually, me going in the building helped me out and talking football with the guys each and every week, that helped me a bunch because if I was just sitting at home and not seeing the guys in the training room or the guys keeping my hopes up, it would’ve been pretty hard on me.
It was that camaraderie and knowing what the Colts are all about that played a big factor in Mack re-signing to stay in Indy this offseason.
While Mack had interest from other teams in his first ever free agency, no one was offering him a definite starting job.
So, Mack thought it made the most sense to return on a one-year deal.
“It’s a family,” Mack says of life as a Colt. “Guys in the locker room, training room and knowing I’m going to get taken care of here…(there’s) a big what if not knowing what’s out there on other teams. I know the football team, I know the scheme well and know I am going to do my thing once I get on the field and come back.”
That is where the Colts are rightfully giddy about what things could look like in their backfield this season.
Yes, returning at 100 percent from an Achilles tear is no easy task, but Mack is very optimistic on where he stands right now in his rehab.
“I’m in a good spot,” the 25-year-old says. “I just have to get back in the training room and they will let me know. I’ve been killing it man these past few months. I actually just left Indy – the beginning of March. So I just have to head back now and I should be good to go pretty soon.”
And when Mack does get that full-go clearance he’s quite eager to see what this backfield is all about.
“This is going to be crazy because once one guys gets hot, it doesn’t stop because the next guy is going to do the same thing and the next guy, like all of us have that one-play thing,” Mack says.
“We all can take one play and it’s going to pop for 60. So every team has to be on their toes because we are going to keep running and they have to be prepared for it.”