Though we have a lot of season ahead of us and next season is a long ways off, I have found myself pondering, who will be our running backs in the stable next year? The running back position has been a revolving door with the Colts featuring several backs.
Donald Brown is having his first "break out" season, if you would like to call it that. Since the injuries of Ballard and Bradshaw, he has filled in very nicely amassing 323 rushing yards on 55 carries. With his 5.9 yard average Brown has 3 rushing touchdowns. He has also done well receiving; catching 15 balls for 153 yards and 1 TD. Not bad for what many have considered a bust.
We all know what Vick Ballard is capable of. Before his injury he was becoming one of the most complete backs in the league. Last year he toted the ball 211 times for 814 yards, averaging 3.9 yards a carry behind a less than stellar line. In 2012 he caught the ball 17 times for 152 yards. His athletic ability was on display when he dove for the end-zone against the Titans last year.
Ahmad Bradshaw showed the world that he still has some tread left on the tires before sustaining a season ending injury against the 49er’s in week 3. This season he carried the ball 41 times for 186 yards. Though his time on the field was short, he displayed a tough running mentality and helped the Colts control the game against the 49er’s. In addition, enough cannot be said about his experience and leadership ability.
The addition of Trent Richardson is really what makes this situation interesting. Though we, as fans, have not reaped the benefits of this trade that we were expecting, I think that there is not doubt that there is potential with this young man. He had a fantastic career in Alabama and was off to a decent start in Cleveland. With the Browns he had 267 carries for 950 yards. Just 50 yards short of a 1,000 yard season. With a solid offseason, a great training camp, and a solid line to run behind, one would have to believe that Richardson’s future with the Colts has to be a bright one.
One would think that the Colts would not carry all three next season. Especially with the need of a fullback in their offense. The question is, who is the odd man out? All have made strong cases for themselves over the last couple of seasons. In my opinion Richardson and Ballard, if healthy, have spots on the roster. I don’t think that there is any way that the Colts let their 2014 first round draft pick go anytime soon. Ballard has shown that the can be an every down back. The toss up is between Brown and Bradshaw. Brown is making a case for himself the latter part of this season. Bradshaw, when healthy is a beast. I loved what he was able to bring to the Colts offense. I think that this will be a position to watch next season.