The Indianapolis Colts backfield has been a hot topic as of late. With the team bringing in Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines from the draft to complement second-year running back Marlon Mack, it seems as though the fourth ball carrier to make the roster will be Robert Turbin.
However, we know Turbin won’t be available for the first four weeks and that leaves Josh Ferguson and Christine Michael battling it out for the fill-in spot to start the season.
Or does it?
It looks as though the Colts are bringing in another running back for a visit who could become one of those two fighting for a roster spot. Former New York Giants running back, Orleans Darkwa, is reportedly set to meet with the Colts in the coming days.
Free agent running back Orleans Darkwa is visiting with the Jets today, per source. He’s schedule to meet with the Colts next. Darkwa led the #Giants with 751 yards and a strong 4.4 ypc last season. Would be solid summer pickup.— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) July 28, 2018
Darkwa had 867 yards from scrimmage last season for the Giants and went through a ‘minor’ knee procedure this offseason to remove a metal plate that had been in his leg for a year. There was talk before the NFL Draft — also reported by Jordan Raanan — that the Giants were hoping to re-sign Darkwa before he opened up to the free agent market.
That didn’t happen, and his market hasn’t been all that impressive until late. He did visit the New England Patriots early in the free agency process, and has met with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets as of late.
Darkwa isn’t a small back (6-foot, 210 pounds), but isn’t as heavy as Turbin or Michael who are both 5-foot-10 and at least 220 pounds. He had a significantly larger workload last year (171 carries) than he had accumulated the rest of his career combined. Whether Darkwa theoretically replaced Ferguson (would be my guess) or Michael (not likely), he would make the Colts competition in the backfield better throughout camp.
Darkwa’s health should be real question mark for the Colts despite getting the nod post-surgery, but his 2017 season may get him a hard look from Chris Ballard. This may or may not produce a deal, adding to the running back room, but we do know that this is Ballard’s continuous process that he’s told us will take place.