One year ago, the Indianapolis Colts‘ backfield certainly wasn’t a team strength. It consisted of the one-two punch of Donald Brown and the unheard of Vick Ballard. Now a year later, Brown is likely headed for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, behind Ballard and newcomer Ahmad Bradshaw.
It’s not that Brown performed poorly in 2012, it’s just that Ballard emerged as the better option. Injuries played a part in Brown’s decreased carries, but most fans could see the Ballard was the man for the job by the end of the season. Now with Bradshaw in the mix, Brown had nowhere to go but down on the depth chart.
Bradshaw is a proven NFL running back that’s going to be the team’s No. 1 guy to start the season. Ballard should spell the veteran on a regular basis, but there won’t be a ton of other carries to go around for the third-string Brown. He’ll get some work, but it won’t be much on the Andrew Luck-led Colts.
Brown does, however, have some value as a pass-catching back. He hauled in 20 passes for 205 yards back in 2010, and the Colts would be wise to try to get him at least that many targets this year. If a player isn’t going to see the field much playing one position, why not utilize them in a different role?
If nothing else, Brown is good insurance in case Bradshaw goes down yet again in 2013. He won’t see the field a ton, but I believe the coaches will find a way to keep him involved.
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