Trent Richardson Demoted To Backup Role For Indianapolis Colts

Trent Richardson came to the Indianapolis Colts in one of the biggest in-season NFL trades in years, but just half a season later he has lost his starting role.

On Sunday the Colts benched the running back in favor of Donald Brown. Though Richardson has struggled to move the ball for the pass-heavy Colts, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano said it was Brown who won the job.

“[Brown] earned the opportunity the way he was working and running the football,” Pagano said. “We’re still going to use two backs, but [Brown] earned the opportunity to get in there and do that.”

In Sunday’s 22-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans, Trent Richardson ran the ball five times for 19 yards, and was outrushed by quarterback Andrew Luck.

After the game, Richardson acknowledged that Brown has been outplaying him.

“As a competitor, you want to play, but at the end of the day, you can only control the things you can control,” Richardson told ESPN. “Donald’s production has been better than mine.

“It’s all about the team and the coaches put the team in the best position to win. Coach made the call. Whatever it is, you have to be happy with it because obviously we’re winning.”

Pagano said that Richardson has taken the demotion well.

“[Richardson] handled it awesome,” Pagano said. “[He} came to work, put his time in, prepared and was ready to go.”

In September the Colts sent a first-round pick in 2014 to the Cleveland Browns for Richardson, the No. 3 pick in last year’s draft. Richardson has struggled on the field, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and not rushing for more than 60 yards in a game this year.