Colts Camp Battles: Backup Running Back

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Aug 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard (33) turns upfield during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Vick Ballard

2012 Stats: 814 yards, 2 TDs, 3.9 YPA
(Was on IR for 2013 and 2014, playing just one game in 2013)

Ballard had a promising rookie season when he split time with Donald Brown. Ballard ended the season with more carries due to injuries to Brown. Considering how putrid the offensive line was in 2012, Ballard’s accomplishments his rookie year are more impressive. 

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The only full time starter on the 2012 line to finish with a positive grade was Anthony Castonzo (the only other lineman with a positive grade was A.Q. Shipley, who only played half the season). The Colts also struggled with an offensive identity crisis in 2012 where they were torn between being a run heavy team and unleashing Luck.

Ballard’s solid rookie campaign wouldn’t continue into year two. After a good game against the Raiders in the season opener, he tore his ACL in a non-contact drill in practice. This prompted an overreaction by the front office to trade a first round pick for Richardson (still can’t forgive anyone involved in this deal).

Ballard recovered and returned to camp in 2014, but was once again felled by injury. He suffered a torn achilles during warmup drills and was lost for a second season.

Ballard likely won’t see much, if any time, in camp or the preseason. He is a candidate to end up on the reserve/PUP list which would keep him out the first six games this season. Even if he is healthy, Ballard will have a tough time just making the 53-man roster.