There was few surprises in the NFL larger than the Indianapolis Colts. When they cut Peyton Manning last summer it looked like they were in for a long haul in terms of getting back to the glory days of being a playoff contender. But thanks to Andrew Luck and a resilient spirit the team showed they had, the Colts went from having the first pick in the draft the year prior to an AFC playoff team.
Among the players who stepped up for the Colts in 2012 was running back Vick Ballard. But despite turning in an amazing season which came out of nowhere, it looks like Ballard will once again be starting his season by taking a backseat to another running back. After the Colts signed free agent Ahmad Bradshaw, Evan Silva is reporting that Ballard is going to be relegated to backup duties once again.
The signing of Ahmad Bradshaw tells you precisely how GM Ryan Grigson felt about his running back situation: It wasn’t good enough. Vick Ballard is a workmanlike, try-hard runner with backup-caliber talent.
It’s harsh to hear but it couldn’t be more true. While Ballard was solid for the Colts in 2012, he was so in a backup role and his worth seemed inflated due to the fact he had no one running behind him and he was the guy coming in as a replacement. Fans love a replacement that does well but the bar isn’t set nearly as high for a backup as it is for a starter.
Bradshaw is the clear cut No. 1 running back in Indianapolis and rightfully so. He’s proven he’s worth it while with the New York Giants and had it not been for an injury and some salary cap concerns, Bradshaw would likely still be there.
But he’s not and he’s going to start for the Colts until either he’s injured or Ballard beats him out of a job but the latter is far less likely to happen than the former.