For Dan ‘Boom’ Herron, That was One Costly Kickoff
There’s no doubt that tough roster releases are expected this time of year, but seeing Indianapolis Colts running back Dan “Boom” Herron’s name as the team’s latest cut was surprising to say the least.
Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Dan Herron (36) against the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Before last Thursday’s preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, Herron figured to be the team’s primary backup behind starting running back Frank Gore. Even earlier today, he was still listed as 2nd on the team’s official depth chart via Colts.com.
Simply put, Herron was coming off an impressive season in relief for the Colts, as he rushed for 351 rush yards on 78 carries (4.5 ypc average) and 1 rushing touchdown.
While starting running back Trent Richardson floundered, Herron flourished late last season.
The 3rd-year pro started in the team’s final 5 games including playoffs and help rejuvenate what had been a woeful ground game previously.
He did what Richardson never could, as Herron ran with purpose–demonstrating considerable burst and explosion in the process.
However, when Herron injured his shoulder returning a 2nd quarter kickoff in last Thursday’s preseason game, all of that momentum he had built with the Colts seemingly ended.
Just like that.
It just goes to show you how quickly things can change in the NFL.
Head coach Chuck Pagano previously defended his decision as to why Herron was even playing in Thursday’s preseason game, much less returning kicks:
"“We’re still evaluating everybody,” Pagano said via ESPN’s Mike Wells. “It’s easy to say, ‘Hey, we know what Boom is. We know what this guy is,’ and all those kind of things, but we didn’t play the one runner. It was unfortunate that he had an injury. It’s unfortunate what happened to Boom on the return. That can happen at practice. It can happen at any time. It’s a decision that I made. I’m not going to look back on it, anything like that. Again, it is what it is.”"
To be fair too, there’s no question that injuries happen in the NFL, and there really are no guarantees in the league just like in real life. It’s hard to predict injuries, and a player can get hurt anywhere at anytime.
However, it’s clear that was one costly kickoff for Herron. The young running back went from having a fairly significant role with the team to being waived entirely because of injury.
To his credit though, Herron is apparently still in good spirits and optimistic about his NFL future even after being informed of his unfortunate release today:
If fully healthy, it’s even possible that he could return to the Colts. However, what once appeared to be a given is now full of uncertainty.
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