Report: Former Patriots Running Back Stevan Ridley Visits Colts
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Indianapolis Colts brought in free agent running back Stevan Ridley in for a Friday visit, who was recently released by the Detroit Lions:
Originally a 3rd round pick of the New England Patriots in 2011 out of LSU, the 5’11”, 220 pound running back spent the first three years of his career with the Colts’ arch-nemesis before spending this past season with the New York Jets.
He signed a 1-year deal with the Detroit Lions earlier this offseason, but didn’t make it out of preseason with his newest team.
While Ridley is only 27, having seemingly been around forever by playing such a key role in the Patriots rushing attack earlier in his career, he hasn’t been the same since a 2014 season-ending ACL tear with New England.
He’s coming off a disappointing season with the Jets, in which he appeared in 8 games (1 start), rushing for 90 yards on 36 attempts (2.5 ypc avg) and no touchdowns. However, Ridley didn’t fare much better in this year’s preseason with the Lions, having just 27 rushing yards on 9 carries (3.0 ypc avg) in 2 games.
At his peak–earlier in his career, Ridley was often the Patriots best natural runner, showcasing his unique combination of speed and power. In 2012, he had his best season, rushing for 1,263 rushing yards on 290 carries (4.4 ypc avg) and 12 rushing touchdowns in 16 games (12 starts).
However, he had a propensity for also fumbling the football, having had 9 fumbles in his first 3 seasons which often kept him in head coach Bill Belichick‘s ball security doghouse–limiting his production.
Ridley doesn’t appear to have fully recovered from his knee injury; however, as he was buried 4th on the Lions running back depth chart regarding preseason carries and was subsequently released.
Of course, the Colts could use a proven option behind Frank Gore, where veteran Robert Turbin hasn’t necessarily impressed with just 20 rushing yards on 11 carries (1.82 ypc avg) in the team’s first two preseason games–despite some good blocks in pass protection last week.
Not to mention, the team hasn’t gotten as much as they initially expected from heralded undrafted rookie free agent running back Josh Ferguson so far–who’s a major question mark to even make the final 53-man roster at this point.
Otherwise, there’s journeyman running back Jordan Todman and Trey Williams and not much else.
While it doesn’t appear that Ridley’s necessarily the answer behind Gore at this point in his career, it at least shows that the Colts aren’t exactly sold on their running back depth right now. The fact that they’re even kicking the tires on another veteran running back speaks dividends.