Most thought coming into this season that Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown wouldn’t even be on this team. A lot of experts speculated that Brown would be cut in the preseason as the Colts would go forward with Vick Ballard, Delone Carter and newly-acquired Ahmad Bradshaw.
With this being the final year of Brown’s contract, it was coming down to him and Carter battling for the third and final running back position. With him being paid more than Carter, the thought was that the Colts would simply cut Brown to save the money.
That didn’t happen as Brown earned his way onto this team and they cut Carter instead.
If you ask any Colts fan, most would say Brown’s career as a Colts player has been a major disappointment. After being a first-round pick by the Colts in 2009, he was supposed to be the next starting running back of the future. That never happened as he battled injuries and struggled to stay on the field when he was healthy by not being the best blocker out of the backfield and struggling to find holes.
He only played a full 16-game season once in the two-win 2011 season. He only gained 281, 497, 645 and 417 rushing yards in each season respectively since 2009. After the start to the 2013 season despite sharing carries with two other backs, he’s making a case that he should be brought back next year.
Brown has been the most effective player on this team when in the game as he has 157 yards on only 19 carries. He has an 8.3 YPC, which is astonishing compared to how he played in his first four seasons.
With all the injuries at the running back position, it would be wise for Indianapolis to keep Brown next year. Him, Trent Richardson and Ballard could make one heck of a three-man trio. If Bradshaw comes back in 2014, then Brown may be the odd man out, but he should stay given Bradshaw’s injuries.
He’s literally running for his life right now. He knows without a big season, his NFL career is likely done. Who else would pick him up? This season is make or break for him and he’s making the best of it.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru