Sometimes in life and in sports, you get thrown a curveball. That’s exactly what happened to the Indianapolis Colts on Friday, when it was announced that Vick Ballard will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The Colts had high hopes for the second-year running back after he emerged late in the 2012 season, but now it looks like he’ll have to wait until 2014 to prove himself as a reliable NFL running back. Now, Indianapolis will turn to Ahmad Bradshaw for the remainder of the season.
In theory, this is not the worst of things. If you just glance at his statistics, Bradshaw has reached the 1,000-yard mark in two of the last three seasons. But the problem lies in the games played section. The 27-year old has missed significant time over the last three years. But he’s also shown a lot of toughness. Despite the injuries (mainly foot-related), he’s still started 32 games since 2010.
The Colts were obviously easing Bradshaw back into action after offseason surgery in week one, as the RB only carried the ball seven times for 26 yards in his team debut. It was clear the team’s plan was to lean on Ballard until Bradshaw got back to full strength, but those plans have now been significantly altered.
Given the new circumstances, Donald Brown figures to reemerge as a regular contributor on the Indy offense. He had been pushed to the side after the signing of Bradshaw and the emergence of Ballard, but now Colts’ fans will be rooting for him more than ever.
The Indianapolis faithful certainly can’t feel comfortable with this new-look backfield. Bradshaw figures to get more reps with each passing week, but with a history of injuries, who’s to say he’ll ever get back to 100 percent?
The good news, though, the Colts still have that Andrew Luck guy to lean on in the passing game.