The Indianapolis Colts worked out running back Ahmad Bradshaw last week, and ever since then fans have been wondering whether the team was going to sign him. The Colts finally have done so, as team owner Jim Irsay announced today that they have agreed to terms with Ahmad Bradshaw, as had been reported earlier.
No corresponding move has been announced yet. The team has since announced that running back Tyler Varga, who has been dealing with a concussion, has been placed on injured reserve.
Bradshaw was a fantastic and dynamic playmaker for the Colts last season before breaking his leg mid-season. It was his second season with the Colts and his second-straight season-ending injury, which is the big drawback to signing him. With that said, however, he is healthy now, has already served his one-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and has provided a huge boost for the Colts when healthy. There's not really a downside to giving him another shot.
In two seasons with the Colts, Bradshaw has rushed for 611 yards and four touchdowns (4.7 yards per carry) and caught 45 passes for 342 yards and six scores. He has averaged 73.3 total yards per game and 5.4 yards every time he touches the football. In 2014, Bradshaw caught 38 passes for 300 yards and six touchdowns, providing a huge threat in the run game, the receiving game, and even as a blocker. While healthy last year, he was the best all-around running back in the NFL.
Bradshaw should immediately slide in as the Colts' number two running back behind Frank Gore, as Josh Robinson has had fumbling issues and Tyler Varga is still recovering from a concussion (and the Colts have since placed Varga on IR). Gore is entrenched as the starter, but now Bradshaw could be the change of pace back and help in many ways. Considering that Bradshaw had a lot of success despite playing behind Trent Richardson last year, playing behind Frank Gore this year should make the run game even better.
Head coach Chuck Pagano praised Bradshaw last week after Bradshaw had worked out for the team. "He's a warrior," Pagano said. "I think everybody in this room and everybody in our locker room and this organization knew what he did for our football team and what kind of toughness and energy and passion that he brings. He's one of heck of a ball player. Again, he's a warrior. One of the toughest guys I've been around. He's a tone setter. You think back a couple of years ago, and I don't like talking about history, but he set the tone for one of the biggest wins we've had since we've been together here out in the Bay Area. That all started on the first play of the game where he touched the football. He's a great, great player. He's a warrior and we'll see what happens."
What happened is the Colts have now signed Bradshaw, and he should be added to the mix quickly. He's a great fit for the Colts' offense and should give them a boost as they approach a very tough stretch of games in which they will play four unbeaten teams in five games.