The Indianapolis Colts’ running situation is getting much more interesting with each passing preseason game as Trent Richardson continues to look absolutely awful. He can’t find holes and can’t pick up any kind of quality yardage. Last night against the New Orleans Saints, Richardson ended up carrying the football six times for 17 yards, which ends up rounding out to 2.8 yards per carry.
While Richardson continues to struggle at running back, there is another player who has been turning heads nearly every time that he is on the field in the backfield. Dan “Boom” Herron had another big game for the Colts last night, gaining 68 yards on just eight carries, including a 43-yard run. He isn’t the most well known name, but he certainly has made things interesting for the Colts, and has thrust his name into the conversation for playing time when the regular season starts up.
Indianapolis had a very similar type of running back last season in Donald Brown, but Herron is a bit more powerful and doesn’t shy away from contact. Is it possible that Herron gets playing time over Richardson at some point in the early stages of the season if the current starter can’t pick his game up soon? It isn’t too far out of the question that Chuck Pagano and the Colts’ coaching staff will have a short leash with Richardson and remove him from the starting role if he can’t produce each and every week.
Running the football is going to be incredibly important this season for the Colts, especially to help take pressure off of Andrew Luck and the passing game. Pep Hamilton will likely be using the aerial attack much more than he did last season, but Herron is the exact type of back that he likes to have in his system. He can pound the football for short yardage, but also has the speed to turn the corner and breakaway at times.
Needless to say, the Colts are going to have to make a very difficult decision about the running back situation if Richardson can’t turn things around in the next few weeks. They simply can’t afford to keep him on the field and being a key piece to the offense when he isn’t getting anything done. Herron has shown in training camp and preseason action that he is ready to be on an NFL field, and he is ready to make plays and pick up good yardage.
Don’t be surprised to see the Colts put Herron out on the field fairly early on in the season if Richardson continues his struggles. Ahmad Bradshaw would likely become the starting back, but the Colts are going to try to keep him as fresh and healthy as they can for the stretch run and into the playoffs. Herron could see some good playing time as the backup running back this season, and would bring a very aggressive running style that would fit exactly what the Colts need.