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Wake Up Washington | Commanders prepare for challenge of stopping Jonathan Taylor


The Washington Commanders have faced their share of top running backs in the first half of the 2022 season. It includes a list of some of the best at the position like Derrick Henry, Miles Sanders and D'Andre Swift, A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones.

On Sunday, they will add to that list when they face Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. While the defense has never faced Taylor, the players are aware of how dangerous he can be, and they are ready to take on the challenge.

"He's a hard runner. He's got some shiftiness to him, too," Kamren Curl said in the locker room. "We've just got to tackle him, tackle him in space."

Taylor, a second-round pick by the Colts in 2020, led the league with 1,811 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns last season. Taylor has the size (226 pounds) to run effectively between the tackles, but he can just as potent in space and as a pass-catcher. He caught 78.4% of his targets in 2021 for 360 yards and two touchdowns.

The Commanders have faced running backs with similar styles this season, and they know that the best solution to stopping Taylor will be to work as one unit and limit his running lanes.

"Football isn't a game of perfect," said cornerback Kendall Fuller. "If a guy misses a tackle and we're all hunting, then we can make up for it quickly before the extra yards. That's the thing about the NFL: week in and week out, you're going up against the top guys."

The Commanders are coming off perhaps their best showing against the run, when they held Green Bay Packers running backs Jones and Dillon to just 38 yards. Granted, Taylor has proven to be a more productive back in recent seasons, despite the fact that he has not been as explosive during his 2022 campaign, but if the defense can carry that performance into Week 8, it would do a lot to cripple the Colts' offense that has second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger now under center.

"Defensive line-wise, just be sound in your technique and bring it every play, honestly," Daron Payne said. "That should stop him."

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.

The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.

Check Out What's On

The Washington Commanders have wrapped up their second day of practice this week. Here are the best photos from Thursday afternoon. Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders

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