Vick Ballard lost his entire 2013 season to a torn ACL and was excited to return to action for the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, he is going to lose his 2014 season as well thanks to a torn Achilles tendon on his lower left leg.
The ACL tear happened during a non-contact drill last year, and that appears to be the same case this year too with his Achilles. Ballard must have seen this coming because according to multiple reports, he was seen with his hands over his head while the trainers were looking at him.
This is a big loss for the Colts’ running game. Trent Richardson was not practicing today while he was nursing a knee injury. The running back position appeared to be one of the Colts’ strengths going into the season, but now has a couple question marks. The Colts don’t know how much of an issue Richardson’s knee will be throughout the year, while Ahmad Bradshaw has had injury issues in the past and likely can’t carry the load for an entire season.
Look for guys like Dan Herron to replace Ballard on the depth chart for now. Herron performed well in a limited role last year, managing 33 yards on four carries in an appearance against the Arizona Cardinals. Also, do not be surprised if the Colts bring in another body to help the workload. Some of the remaining free agents include Michael Bush, Ronnie Brown, Willis McGahee and Felix Jones. The Colts are a team that wants to run the ball early and often, so adding a free agent would not be out of the question.
Ballard has suffered from his fair share of bad luck during his short NFL career. This is his second season-ending injury in a 10-month span, which could put his long-term outlook in jeopardy.