Indianapolis Colts' Addition of Trent Richardson Massive for AFC Race

By Kris Hughes

Through two weeks, the Indianapolis Colts have been playing some great football behind the leadership of second-year starting quarterback Andrew Luck and the emergence of 2nd-year wideout T.Y. Hilton,  as well as solid performances as always from Reggie Wayne. Jim Irsay has pulled a first-tier coup this afternoon according to reports, as Indianapolis has traded a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in return for running back Trent Richardson.

Richardson brings the Colts a legit running threat, something they’ve been missing since the days when Edgerrin James was actually healthy and producing at an All-Pro level back with Peyton Manning.

With a season-long knee injury set to keep starting running back Vick Ballard out of action, and the team’s collective lack of faith in journeymen Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown, it was obvious the Colts had to make a move, but few thought it would be one of this caliber. It’s just as interesting a question to consider why the Browns so coveted another 1st round pick?

Has their (short) patience already worn out with Brandon Weeden and there’s an intention there to pursue another quarterback — perhaps Teddy Bridgewater — in the first round of the 2014 Draft? Well, perhaps, but that’s a discussion for another day.

The addition of Trent Richardson to the Colts is an instant nightmare for AFC Central defensive coordinators who to some extent have been able to game-plan against the Colts to take away the pass and roll the dice with their level of production in the running game. This luxury is no longer afforded them assuming Richardson can stay healthy and be a compliment in an offense that will still be pass-first in spite of his presence.

If the Colts were on the outside-looking-in prior to this move, consider that a thing of the past. They’re now right in the mix in the AFC and the reign of Andrew Luck may come much sooner than any of us could have imagined.

Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports.

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