Vick Ballard: The Colts Forgotten Running Back
By Evan Reller
Two season ending injuries have left running back Vick Ballard as an after thought for the Indianapolis Colts. The once promising running back suffered a torn ACL in 2013 after one game and a torn Achilles in 2014 during training camp.
Ballard is facing an uphill battle in more ways than one. Not only does he have to rehab from those two devastating injuries, but he also has a lot of competition in the backfield.
Now, the Colts have a loaded running back stable and Ballard could be the odd man out. They signed veteran Frank Gore, the model of consistency at the position, and still have Dan Herron who proved to be very valuable late last season.
The Colts also drafted Josh Robinson, who eventually took over Ballard’s position at Mississippi State. Both Robinson and Ballard were very productive in their time with the Bulldogs despite having different running styles.
We took a look at the position following the draft earlier in the week.
In an interview with the IndyStar’s Zak Keefer, Ballard spoke about the frustration with back-to-back injuries and how he seems to be an afterthought.
"“I was supposed to be a part of that,” he says. “Sometimes, it feels like a lot of people just forgot about me.”“I think everybody’s curious to see how my body reacts,” says Ballard. “I’m curious, too. I feel like this whole offseason I’ve been working on nothing but my legs, making sure everything from my hips down to my toes feel good.”"
Ballard knew the team might be going after a running back in the draft, to which he replied “I’m a young running back.” He also knows that it is possible he might not make the Colts final roster. Its a fact that weighs on him daily.
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"“I think about it every day,” he says. “It’s only natural. There’s a fresh new set of players coming in every year trying to take your spot. But like I said, I’m here, every day, speaking to the cleaning crews on my way out. If this is it, if it’s over, they’re going to have to tell me it’s over.”"
The team continues to supports Ballard, and it is likely he hasn’t been cut simply due to his low salary (he’s still on his rookie contract). GM Ryan Grigson knows how tough it is for him to come back and contribute to the Colts.
"“Two years is a long time not to play football, there’s no doubt about it,” Grigson said. “The only thing he needs to do is get a devil-may-care mindset. Because if you think about getting hurt, or you’re concerned about getting hurt again, then you probably will.”"
Getting anything out of Ballard this season would be impressive and the Colts have plenty of good options at the running back position heading into 2015.