In the divisional round of the playoffs, you’d expect someone once proclaimed the team’s starting running back to be on the field, right? But Trent Richardson wasn’t just benched, he was inactive and didn’t even dress for the game.
Today, he told the Indianapolis Star that it wouldn’t happen again.
“That situation will never happen to me again,” Richardson stated. “Anybody can quote me, today, because it’s never going to happen again.”
Richardson said he was preparing for this week just like any other.
“Like I’m going to be the starter. Because that’s just me.”
Richardson worked out with special teams last week and according to Coach Chuck Pagano said that special teams needs kept him out of last Sunday’s game.
“Michael Hill was a special teams player and Trent – it’s not any knock on Trent – but Trent’s never been asked to be a special teams player,” Pagano said. “He was doing everything for a period of time to try to get himself ready. But Michael was more ready to go out and be the third back and contribute on special teams.”
Richardson said that regardless of what happens, it won’t be an issue for him.
“Whatever coach do, I’m going to agree with it, I’m going to be happy with it, because that’s what’s best for the team,” Richardson said. “If he call me up and tell me I’m going to be playing, I’m going to be ready. If not, I’m going to be cheering my teammates on because it’s their game.”
Richardson barely saw the field against the Bengals in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Prior to that game, Richardson had battled the flu and didn’t practice. It therefore wasn’t surprising that he was largely held out of the game due to not being 100-percent.
While saying Richardson didn’t offer the team much on special teams is one thing, it is completely different when Zurlon Tipton beats you out for the second running back spot.
Richardson saw his role reduced over the past two game of the season, dropping from around 30 snaps per game to 15. He played just one snap against the Bengals.
Richardson simply hasn’t proven that he has the physical tools to be an effective running back in the NFL. He certainly isn’t worth the two first round picks that teams have used on him.
Richardson rushed for 519 yards this season and three touchdowns. He averaged 3.2 yards per carry and hasn’t a positive impact on a game since Week Seven against the Bengals.
There was a rumor that Richardson was benched for being too heavy but he flat out denied the rumors.
“Weight issue? Weight ain’t never been an issue,” Richardson said. “I ain’t never went into a game over 230 (pounds). If it’s a weight issue, I’d like to be told that. I was sick for a while, that’s what I thought it was, that’s what I heard. You know better than me. You know more than I know.”
While its difficult to confirm those rumors it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to shed a few pounds. At 225-pounds, Richardson is considered a heavier back in the NFL. Despite this extra size, he rarely moves the pile or runs over defenders.
He also doesn’t have the speed to run away from would be tacklers and tends to play like a scatback. Perhaps losing a little weight would help him revitalize his career and fit his style of play better.
Without Richardson, the Colts have show something resembling a run game with Dan Herron as the feature back. His explosiveness gives the team a more reliable threat out of the backfield in addition to a clear home run threat on every touch.
Richardson’s days with the team might be numbered after last week’s benching and it wouldn’t be surprised if he were inactive this week against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.