Aug 11, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard (33) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard missed most of the 2013 season with a torn ACL and unfortunately the injury bug hit him again early in practice Friday. Ballard injured his left ankle on a pass play and limped to the sideline. He was later carted off the practice field. Multiple people are reporting that Ballard tore his Achilles and that could mean another missed season. Yuck!
Trent Richardson was on the sideline as a non participant and the combination of Ahmad Bradshaw, Dan Herron, Chris Rainey and Tipton Zurlon left a lot to be desired in the backfield. This was a no contact practice, so I was expecting to see the backs hit the holes quickly and move up field in a hurry. I’m disappointed that I didn’t see the sharp and dynamic running game I had hoped to find. Herron and Zurlon looked a little better than Bradshaw or Rainey, but if I’m Ryan Grigson, I’m shopping for another back ASAP.
The passing game looked much better than the running game… no big surprise. The stable of tight ends including Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, Weslye Saunders and Jack Doyle looked sharp in their routes and showed good hands and timing with the quarterbacks.
Andrew Luck was spreading the ball around a lot, but Griff Whalen appeared to be his top target today. Whalen was working with the first team most of the day and caught passes all over the field.
It was also good to see Reggie Wayne catching passes and making sharp cuts. I was somewhat surprised to see the defensive backs playing Reggie so physically at the point of the catch. I just expected to see a no touch rule around him for a few days.
I saw one good catch from Da’Rick Rogers and at least one drop. Over all, Rogers didn’t get many targets but he did seem to get a lot of reps with the second unit.
Donte Moncrief looked quick in his routes but also wasn’t targeted or featured often. Of coarse T. Y. Hilton looked dangerously good as usual. Hakeem Nicks is a work in progress. Timing was off on a few targets, but he made a couple of nice catches and was targeted a little more today. Nicks dropped one that ended up being picked off and returned for a touchdown.
Two dark horse wide outs made a splash today. Josh Lenz and Tony Washington got loose and caught a couple deep shots for touchdowns. Both Lentz and Washington got plenty of reps with the second and third team offense while WR Eric Thomas, WR Greg Moore and WR Aaron Burks saw very little reps.
I can’t make it to every camp practice, but next week I promise to focus more on the defense. I will add that I was impressed with Darius Butler working in the slot with the first team and Mike Adams also flashed at safety with the second team. It’s just a matter of time before Adams starts getting first team reps. Delano Howell and Sergio Brown looked serviceable at the starting safety positions but Adams certainly appears to be a step quicker and seems to have a little more fluidity in his movement.