The 25 year old running back has missed nearly the last three seasons with injuries and is still looking to regain his rookie form with the Colts back in 2012.
Originally a 5th round pick of the Colts in 2012, Ballard led the team in rushing during his rookie campaign, as he ran for 814 rushing yards on 211 carries (3.9 ypc avg) and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Not only did Ballard score a game-winning 16-yard touchdown reception in Week 9 of the 2012 regular season against the Tennessee Titans–acrobatically diving for the pylon, but he’s also still the Colts last 100 yard rusher–having accomplished the feat on December 16, 2012 in a game versus the Texans.
However, two consecutive season-ending injuries derailed what was once a very promising young career. Ballard suffered a torn ACL and achilles in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
While he spent last year’s preseason with the Colts, he was only able to see limited action in 4 games–rushing for 33 yards on 11 carries (3.0 ypc avg) before sustaining a hamstring injury. Unable to get a clear evaluation and facing roster limitations, the Colts waived Ballard on September 15th.
It’s the first we’ve heard of Ballard in quite some time. Although he had a prior workout with the Chicago Bears, Ballard spent this past season out of football–presumably still rehabilitating from his past injuries.
It’s obviously been a long road to recovery and getting back to football for Ballard, so we wish him well in New Orleans.