Indianapolis – The right teammate has decided it is time to focus on himself and his family.
Jack Doyle is retiring after nine seasons in Colts uniform.
An Indianapolis product that never moved out of western Kentucky and fought its way onto the roster, Doyle became a quintessential colt, the epitome of perseverance, hard work, and excellence, remaining an important part of the roster to the end.
But the cumulative effects of playing 131 games in one of the NFL’s grueling positions has taken its toll.
“I have a deep love for the game of football. I take pride in playing the game the right way and have always given my all on the field,” Doyle wrote in his retirement statement. “I have a deep respect for your dedication and commitment to your teammates. At this point in time, my body is telling me that this is a sacrifice I can’t make anymore.”
At the end of the season, Doyle said: “I’ve just had a blast. It’s been tough. Hard on my body, tough on me. Playing football is tough, and getting out there every week is tough.”
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Doyle’s numbers — 295 receptions (3rd among Colts tight ends, 14th overall), 2,729 yards (5th, 24th), 24 touchdowns (4th, 16th) — firmly placed him in the top five tight ends in franchise history. But the raw statistics alone don’t tell the full story of Doyle’s influence in Indianapolis.
The large, bearded tight end is one of the last examples in the franchise’s long history of finding diamonds in the rough. Doyle was offered only one FBS scholarship coming out of Cathedral, played his way onto the radar of the NFL in western Kentucky and then landed with Tennessee as an incomplete free agent in 2013.
When the Titans cut Doyle at the end of his first training camp, Indianapolis kicked him out of remission, and Doyle spent his first three seasons trying to establish himself in the NFL.
“I came here, and I was battling for the roster spot,” Doyle said.
Doyle eventually broke through in 2016, catching 59 passes for 584 yards and five touchdowns to earn himself a three-year, $18.9 million contract that put him on his way to ending his career with the Colts, then 80-catches. , the 690-yard performance that earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl after the 2017 season. He got approval again in 2019.
By the time the current Indianapolis regime came to power in 2018, Doyle had grown into an absolute tight end, a perfect chess piece for Frank Reich’s offense.
“Jack is very versatile,” Reich said. “We can get him around. He’s a playmaker in the run game, he’s an excellent blocker. But I think the thing that Jack’s made a career out of is keeps fooling people in the near game. …he’s a pretty good feel root runner on zone coverage, but he also has great instincts versus man.”
By that time, Doyle was remarkably durable, but he was badly hit by injuries. A hip cost him five games in early 2018, and then in late November he suffered a bad kidney that sent him to injured reserve.
Doyle returned and played 47 of a possible 49 over the next three seasons, but Colts quarterback Carousel kept him from reaching his former numbers as a receiver, although highlights such as a playoff game against Buffalo after the 2020 season She was And this year’s Tampa Bay games.
Indianapolis relied on Doyle’s versatility. Reich often used Doyle as a secret weapon; Finding ways to open him wide in dire situations, but a Colts offense that has gone down two of the last three seasons, needed to block more and more.
Colts quarterback Carson Wentz said, “He’s arguably the most selfless person in that locker room. He doesn’t care whether he’s blocking, blocking, getting the ball, or selecting people who Even so. He just wants to win.”
Doyle caught 29 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns in his final season in 2021, but his real value came in the running game. Asked to play a variety of roles as a blocker, Doyle could often be seen descending into the main block on the biggest highlights of Jonathan Taylor, a player so critical that Reich admitted that when Doyle was taken to Arizona But there was a drastic change in the offense when he was knocked out by victory.
“I like to run the ball, I like to block,” Doyle said. “I really enjoy doing it.”
Doyle also became the epitome of the type of player the Colts want to have in the locker room.
Unlike his good friend TY Hilton, who became the locker room’s main voice in 2021, Doyle was always more comfortable leading by example, setting a standard other players couldn’t help but follow.
When the new members of the Colts roster arrived, they were given a simple instruction: WATCH Ty and Jack. It’s okay to imitate those.
“He’s my boy,” said Hilton. “I love Jack to death.”
Doyle has now decided to hang up his cleats.
But the impact he left on the Indianapolis franchise is hard to measure.