A freak knee injury to Colts’ starting running back Vick Ballard has sent the second year pro to the injured reserve, ending his season.
Ballard tore his ACL on a non-contact play during practice Thursday. Colt’s owner Jim Irsay tweeted the news Friday that Ballard was headed to the injured reserve.
The loss is a major blow to the Colts. The team signed former New York Giant Ahmad Bradshaw in the offseason, but he is not an every down back. During his time in New York he platooned with a number of running backs including Brandon Jacobs.
Ballard may not be the biggest name, but he was capable of handling the workload demanded of him. He was strong in pass protection and was a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.
The Colt most effected by Vick Ballard’s freak knee injury won’t be Ballard though. On the field at least, quarterback Andrew Luck will suffer the most from the loss. Young quarterbacks, no matter how talented, rely on their running game to relieve some pressure.
Last year the Colts had Luck throw the ball an ungodly amount. He responded by throwing 23 touchdowns against 18 interceptions. In comparison, RG3 had a strong running game with Alfred Morris in Washington. RG3 tossed 20 touchdowns against five interceptions while Alfred Morris ran for over 1,600 yards.
With Ballard gone and Bradshaw now the featured back, the Colts have signed Kerwyn Williams from the practice squad to help carry the load.
In reality, the Colts will probably force Andrew Luck to throw on most plays. Sadly, there’s only so much Reggie Wayne, Coby Fleener, and T.Y. Hilton can do when the opposing defense doesn’t have to worry about the run game.
Vick Ballard’s freak knee injury was the last thing the Colts needed heading into Miami on Sunday. Indianapolis has a weak defense and Miami has a strong offense. The game will rest solely on Andrew Luck’s ability to put up points and not turn the ball over. Can he do it?