The Indianapolis Colts lost Vick Ballard for the season on Friday. The second year running back tore his ACL during practice.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said that it was a freak accident during non-contact drills. He will be placed on IR and rookie Kerwynn Williams will be brought up from the practice squad.
This is a huge loss for the Colts as Ballard was poised to make a big jump following his rookie season. He had one of the most exciting plays of the season last year.
In the season opener Ballard averaged 4.8 yards per carry. More importantly, he was 6-for-6 on blitz pickup in the passing game.
The Colts wanted to have Ballard split carries with veteran Ahmad Bradshaw. Now it appears that Bradshaw will alternate with Donald Brown.
I can’t understate how important Ballard was in pass protection to this team. Bradshaw is also an outstanding blocker, but doesn’t have very many reps with Andrew Luck. Brown is, well, not the best blocker in the world. Granted that was back in 2010, and he has improved since then.
The silver lining in all of this is that it might force Pagano and offensive coordinator to abandon the power run game. It isn’t working and the Colts have far more playmakers at the receiver position. Indy should regularly lineup with three wideouts and run out of spread formations.
The success of this team will still be determined by Luck and the defense.
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