INDIANAPOLIS – There’s a chance status quo returns for the Indianapolis Colts’ offense Sunday.

That would mean heavy doses of Jonathan Taylor and occasional sprinkles of Nyheim Hines in a consequential AFC South rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.

If not, there’s Deon Jackson. And there’s proof he’s up to the task of filling in until the Colts’ top two running backs are back in the huddle.

Sitting in Jackson’s cubicle in the locker room is a game ball earned in last Thursday’s overtime win at Denver.

His eyes lit up when the game ball was mentioned.

“I’ve gotten game balls in college, but getting a game ball in the NFL is definitely a dream come true,’’ he said Thursday. “Just to be able to have a symbol of recognition of my performance in the game, especially at the highest level, is an honor.’’

It came on the busiest day of Jackson’s brief NFL career, and was made possible with injury issues with Taylor and Hines.

Taylor missed the game with an ankle injury. The NFL’s reigning rushing champion was held out of Wednesday’s practice but returned Thursday on a limited basis.

Taylor wouldn’t offer much insight on his availability for Sunday.

“I’m feeling pretty good,’’ he said.

Is there a chance for Sunday?

“I don’t know,’’ he said. “What is today? Thursday? Friday, Saturday . . . we’ve got some time. We’re going to squeeze all that time out.’’

Hines, meanwhile, was limited for a second straight practice and again wore a red jersey as required for players in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He sustained a concussion on the third play against the Broncos. Hines was hit from behind after catching a pass from Matt Ryan, hit his head on the turf and staggered after getting up. A pair of teammates kept him from falling to the ground.

If Taylor and/or Hines aren’t cleared to play, Jackson will be ready.

Heading into the Broncos game, it was obvious the offense was going to be Hines-centric. He handled each of the first three plays before going down.

With Hines out, the workload shifted to Jackson and Phillip Lindsay.

“I knew what my role was,’’ Jackson said. “I played more than I was supposed to, I’ll say that. I probably doubled the reps I was supposed to get.’’

He was on the field for 46 snaps, which dwarfed his previous exposure on offense. He had two snaps in the week 2 loss to Jacksonville and 16 total snaps in nine appearances as a rookie in 2021. Jackson’s work primarily has been on special teams with 136 snaps in 14 games.

That changed dramatically once Hines was forced from the game.

“I was ready for it,’’ Jackson said. “If me and Phil didn’t step up the way we did, who knows? We were the only two backs to lean on.

“The game could have went a whole different direction.’’

Jackson collected 91 total yards from scrimmage – 62 yards on 13 carries and 29 more on four receptions. All were career highs. His 21-yard reception was the Colts’ longest pass play of the game, as was his 17-yard run.

Lindsay added 40 yards on 11 attempts and 14 on three receptions on his return to Denver.

Taylor watched the game from Indy, and looked on with appreciation.

“I was turned up,’’ he said. “I was able to see Deon, Phillip go out there. They’re true professionals and you guys got a chance to see a little bit of it.

“That’s why we’ve been so excited about our running back room because it doesn’t matter who’s in there. We’re able to go in there and make plays.’’

Twice, Jackson caught Taylor’s eye.

On the first series following Hines’ injury, Ryan stood in a hectic pocket and flipped a short pass to his left. Jackson gathered it in, headed up field for a 21-yard gain. At one point, he flashed a nifty spin move that left Denver cornerback K’Waun Williams grabbing air.

“Prime-time Deon pulled out the spin move,’’ Taylor said with a smile. “I was really excited.’’

Late in the fourth quarter, Jackson put the Colts in position for Chase McLaughlin’s game-tying 31-yard field goal. His 17-yard run through the heart of Denver’s defense produced a first-and-10 at the 17 with 28 seconds remaining.

“I thought Deon was about to get in the end zone,’’ Taylor said. “I was like, ‘Oh, let’s go.’’’

On the next play, Ryan hooked up with Jackson for a 9-yard reception.

“You could see Deon going out there in a non-practice setting, non-preseason, and just show his ability, show like he belongs here,’’ Taylor said.

It was Jackson’s first extensive exposure since his senior year at Duke. In 48 games, he piled up 2,267 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns and 534 receiving yards with four more TDs. He led the Blue Devils in rushing his final three seasons.

The heavier workload at Denver “was definitely nice,’’ Jackson said. “Seventeen touches. I got more touches in that game than I did all of last season. It was nice.

“It’s always nice for a running back to have the ball in your hands. You want to  make plays.’’

And about that game ball perched in his cubicle?

“It might go back to my house in Georgia,’’ Jackson said. “I’ll give it to my mom.’’

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.