On Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts lost starting running back Vick Ballard to a season-ending ACL tear after a freak practice accident. With their top runner now out of the mix, the Colts could be looking to add a veteran – say Michael Turner – to the mix to help pick up the slack.
As of right now, the Colts already have veteran Ahmad Bradshaw on the roster. The former New York Giants starter is expected to take over as the top ball-carrier in Indianapolis, but comes with some health concerns of his own. He spent most of the offseason recovering from foot surgery, and was still being worked into the mix after missing the entire preseason.
The Colts also have megabust Donald Brown, who will likely assume No. 2 duties behind Bradshaw. That, however, shouldn’t be sufficient for head coach Chuck Pagano.
By adding a veteran like Turner to the mix, the Colts would bring a physical presence to the ground game. He could serve as the thunder to Bradshaw’s lightning, effectively giving Indianapolis a one-two punch. Plus, Turner offers capable pass blocking, which was another one of Ballard’s strengths.
It’s no secret that Turner is nearing the end of his NFL career after being overworked by the Atlanta Falcons in recent years. He wore down as the seasons went by, and that’s why he has received minimal interest since landing in the free agency pool. Still, he could be productive in a running-back-by-committee role.
The fact is that Bradshaw is an injury liability, and might not even be at 100 percent. Having Brown as their top backup also isn’t an ideal situation for the Colts. Adding a proven player like Turner could be just what Indianapolis needs to overcome the loss of Ballard.