Marlon Mack

Marlon Mack

Preseason

Chance of Injury in 2020: question mark 93%
Chance of Injury per Game: question mark 15.3%
Projected Games missed for 2020: question mark 3.1
Durability: question mark 4

High Risk

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Marlon Mack Player Overview

Marlon Devon Mack is 24-years old and was born in Sarasota, Florida. Mack attended Booker high school and, as a senior, rushed for 1,527 yards and 19 touchdowns. He totaled 22 touchdowns on the season, as well as making 100 tackles and intercepting 4 passes while playing defense. Considered a four-star recruit, Mack received dozens of scholarships from schools, including Michigan, Louisville, Indiana, and Florida Atlantic, but ultimately chose the University of South Florida.

As a freshman, Mack rushed 202 times for 1,041 yards, 9 touchdowns, and caught 21 passes for 160 yards. In his sophomore season, he rushed 210 times for 1,381 yards, an impressive 6.6 yards per carry, and 8 touchdowns, also catching 16 passes for 111 yards and another score.

Mack was able to put it all together in his junior year rushing for 1,187 yards over 174 carries, 6.8 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns. He also reeled in 28 passes for 227 yards. His junior season cemented Mack as South Florida’s all-time leading rusher. At the NFL Combine, he measured 5’ 11?”, weighed 213 pounds, and ran a 4.50 40-yard dash. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Mack played 14 games as a rookie after being named the starting running back ahead of Frank Gore and Robert Turbin. He had a subpar season rushing 93 times for 358 yards, only 3.8 yards per carry and 3 touchdowns. He also caught 21 passes for 225 yards, 10.7 yards per catch, and a touchdown.

In 2018 Mack struggled early in the season with a hamstring injury that lingered from the preseason. He only played in 12 games rushing 195 times for 908 yards, 4.7 yards per carry and 9 touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 103 yards and another score.

Let’s review Mack’s injury history. In his last season at USF, Mack sustained a concussion and missed a game as a result. Then in week two of his rookie season, Mack tore the labrum/cartilage in his shoulder. It caused him to miss two games and eventually underwent surgery to repair this labrum in the off-season. Which means that he admirably played the entire season with at least a partially torn labrum in his shoulder.

In preseason of the 2018 season, Mack suffered a grade 2 hamstring strain that caused him to miss three weeks. Unfortunately, upon returning, he re-injured the hamstring and lost an additional three games. We see this quite often when a player believes that the hamstring is ready to go. Still, unfortunately, it is not, and as a result, the player re-injures the hamstring, causing them to miss several more games.

This is due to a combination of a couple different factors. This includes failure of not listening to his body, the mechanism of the actual injury, and the biology itself, as well as poor instruction on behalf of the training staff and team physicians.

It is vital that the player understands he needs to push himself 100% in practice before returning to the field. Only rushing at 85% intensity in training before returning and then ramping it up to 100% often leads to a re-injury and further missed time. As we’ve seen here with Mack and more famously with Leonard Fournette in 2018. Hopefully, Mack was able to learn from this mistake and properly prevent it in the future, notably with appropriate training exercises like the Nordic Curl.

Mack suffered his second confirmed concussion in 2018 but was able to clear the protocol and played the following week. Mack broke his hand in Week 11 of the 2019 season and required surgery to repair it. Likely putting either a plate or screws into the bone depending on the location of the fracture. Surprisingly he only missed two games after undergoing surgery, mind you this is on a hand and for a running back. That is an impressive recovery, which likely means that this must have been a minor procedure.

Mack has yet to play all 16 games in any of his three NFL seasons. In 48 games, he has played in a total of 40 of 48 games (83%). Coach Frank Reich admitted that there is still respect for Marlon Mack. Still, the managerial staff must have thought otherwise after drafting an impressive rookie running back in Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin with the number 41 pick.

The Colts preseason took a massive hit when Andrew Luck decided to retire. The offensive once again was put on the shoulders of Jacoby Brissett. Those shoulders of Brissett are not wide enough to carry a full-load, so Mack needed to shine. Shine, he did. Mack actually handled 17.6 rushing attempts per game in 2019, playing in 14 games.

Mack led the Colts backfield for the second time in two seasons, seeing a career-high in carries (247), ninth in the NFL his 1,091 yards (11th), and his eight touchdowns (T-9th) all put him under the top-10 of running backs. His yards per carry average of 4.4 (24th) did not.

Mack also did not finish in the top-20 of fantasy running backs. His lack of production in the receiving game opened the floor, and he fell through. Mack has seen a reduction in targets and receptions since entering the league in 2017. His numbers are decreasing from 33 targets to 17 and 21 catches to 14. For comparison, Naheem Hines totaled 139 targets, and 107 catches over the past two years.

Another issue is his inability to be consistent. Mack had seven games where he scored over 15 PPR fantasy points, but then put up under 10 in the other seven contests. Mack continues to try to do more damage on his own than use the holes supplied to him by the Colt's terrific offensive line. He was second to Sony Michel in loss or no yards gained.

Even though Mack was a producer, the Colts went with Taylor. Taylor coming into the running back stable puts a significant limitation on Mack and his production ceiling. Also, Indianapolis chose to keep Nyheim Hines. Hines is a talented receiver out of the backfield and in position to be the Darren Sproles/Austin Ekeler type-role.

The Colts offensive line is an elite group. The guard Quenton Nelson is an All-Pro since his rookie season. Anthony Castonzo is an excellent left tackle, and Ryan Kelly is a Pro-Bowl alternate. They use a “fake-zone” gap scheme.

The rest of the offense is elderly, but they do have excellent youth pieces. T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, Zach Pascal, and rookie Michael Pittman will see the majority of the action. Look for sixth-round selection Dezmon Patmon to get several deep targets from Philip Rivers.

Final Prognosis:

Sports Injury Predictor is concerned about Mack’s 2020 season and his chances of injury. They have him listed as one of the highest risk players out of all of the running backs at a 62% chance of injury. They project him to miss 3.1 games in 2020. While I am still personally mildly concerned, I am not quite as worried. The hand injury was fluky, and I was impressed that he only missed two games. The hamstring injury in 2018 is concerning, but the fact that he made it through all of 2019 without a repeat occurrence is promising. Overall I am much more concerned about his role in the offense then I am his health risk.

My score for him is a 5 out of 10.

At this point (July 2), Mack has an ADP of RB41 and an overall of 103. Head coach Frank Reich believes that Taylor and Mack will form a “one-two punch.” They will complement each other, but the reality of producing when Hines steals receptions and fighting for carries with top-tier talent in Taylor. Mack becomes a flex option in Non-PPR leagues at best and waiver wire fodder at worst. There is a minimal upside for him.

Injury Risk: Moderate. 5/10.

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Marlon Mack Injury History

Date League Injury Details
Nov 17, 2019 NFL Hand Metacarpal Fracture Mack broke his hand in Week 11 and has had surgery to repair it. He missed two games
Nov 25, 2018 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Mack sustained a concussion but was cleared by the following weekend.
Sep 16, 2018 NFL Thigh Hamstring Strain Grade 2 Mack re-injured his hamstring and missed 3 more games.
Aug 9, 2018 NFL Thigh Hamstring Strain Grade 2 Mack injured his hamstring in the preseason opener and was sidelined until Week 2.
Sep 17, 2017 NFL Shoulder Labrum Tear Mack tore the labrum in his shoulder in Week 2. He missed 2 games and then underwent surgery in the offseason.
Sep 3, 2016 Non-NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Mack sustained a concussion in the 2016 opener and missed the next game.