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Colts 2015 Player Preview: Running Back Zurlon Tipton

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The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on August 1 with a 90-man roster, and we'll be taking a look at every single player on the roster (though it obviously will change some) as we approach camp. Today, we look at running back Zurlon Tipton.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the 2014 season, the Indianapolis Colts' number two running back was Zurlon Tipton, and he appeared to be a solid depth back.  Now, entering the 2015 season, there's a question of whether Tipton will even have a spot on the roster.

It's really not based on anything that Tipton has done.  Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan (where he recorded 34 career rushing touchdowns) by the Colts last year, Tipton impressed enough in training camp to earn a spot on the team's 53-man roster out of preseason, but after the first week of the season he was cut and signed to the practice squad.  After Ahmad Bradshaw's season-ending injury in week eleven, however, Tipton was signed back to the active roster, where he stayed for the rest of the year.  He played in nine games for the Colts (including playoffs), rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries (3.1 yards per attempt) and catching 9 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown (averaging 10 yards per catch).  As Boom Herron began to take snaps away from Trent Richardson, so did Zurlon Tipton, and in the playoffs Tipton was clearly the team's number two running back while Richardson was out of the picture almost completely.

This offseason, the Colts officially released Richardson, but as the team inches closer to training camp, the player who ended the year as the number two back a year ago will be competing for a spot on the 53-man roster.  The Colts added Frank Gore to be their starter, and then Boom Herron will fill the number two running back role.  Sixth round draft pick Josh Robinson likely will be either the third or fourth running back, and that depends on the health of Vick Ballard.  If Ballard is healthy, it's entirely possible that Tipton could wind up as the fifth running back, which would almost certainly send him to the practice squad.  There's a lot left to be figured out in training camp and the team isn't giving up on Zurlon Tipton yet, as he can indeed be a solid depth player, but he'll have to really impress to earn a spot on the 53-man roster once again this year.