The Indianapolis Colts traded a first-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for RB Trent Richardson during the 2013 season. Richardson ultimately disappointed, rushing for fewer than 500 yards on 157 carries. He is still the starting RB in Indianapolis for now, but there is ample opportunity there if Richardson fails to improve early on in the 2014 season.
At present, Ahmad Bradshaw sits second on the depth chart behind Richardson after Vick Ballard tore his Achilles tendon in late July. However, Bradshaw isn’t exactly a model of health either. Bradshaw has been plagued by a variety of foot, leg and other injuries since he joined the league in 2007 and has only played one full 16-game season in his career.
In Week 3 last year, Bradshaw suffered a neck injury that ultimately required surgery, effectively ending his season. Bradshaw has looked good in training camp, but he is still wearing a red jersey and taking no contact. He also did not play in the Colts’ preseason opening against the New York Jets.
Richardson started at RB in the preseason loss and didn’t look great. He ended the game with only 13 yards on five carries and a dismal 2.6 yards per carry. While it’s still too early to make a verdict on Richardson, his performance in the game certainly didn’t inspire much confidence.
Dan Herron played as well against the Jets and totaled 26 yards on seven rushes. He also added 36 yards and a TD on six receptions during the game. Herron actually played last year as well, though only briefly. He did record a 57-yard reception, however, that almost went for a TD against the St. Louis Rams in 2013.
Reports out of training camp indicate that the coaches have liked what they’ve seen so far from Herron. The Colts are also trying to utilize their RBs more in the passing game this season, and Herron has the ability to make defenders miss when he catches the ball in space.
Bradshaw is still the RB to own behind Richardson right now. But if Richardson can’t get his act together, Herron is one Bradshaw injury away from becoming fantasy relevant. Keep an eye on how Richardson and Bradshaw progress as we near the regular season. Herron could be a late-round flier or waiver wire pick-up who pays RB2 dividends in 2014.