The Indianapolis Colts lost a vital part of their running game, as running back Vick Ballard is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
According to head coach, Chuck Pagano, Ballard tore his ACL in practice Thursday after he planted his foot and tried to make a sudden cut. The gruesome injury reportedly took place during a non-contact drill.
“We feel awful for Vick,” Pagano told reporters. “Vick was headed for a fabulous year. Injuries are part of the game. We’ll deal with it. No one handles adversity like us.”
The Colts were planning on splitting the carries between Ballard and free agent addition Ahmad Bradshaw. Donald Brown will get the chance to backup Bradshaw and get a few carries.
Ballard had a surprising rookie year, as the fifth-round draft pick amassed 814 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The second-year back did struggle keeping the ball in his hands, as he fumbled the ball three times. He also accumulated 152 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.
In last last weeks shaky victory over the Oakland Raiders, Ballard rushed for 63 yards on 13 carries, while Bradshaw had 26 yards on seven carries.
With this injury, the Colts will rely on Bradshaw, who is coming off a foot injury that kept him out the entire preseason. He played limited snaps in week one, yet will now need to pick up the pace. He was an intriguing option entering the 2013 season, and it’s opportunity to shine in the starting role and keep the pressure off second year quarterback Andrew Luck.
As the backup, Brown, will be in on a few snaps with his new found role and more sooner rather than later as Bradshaw is still on the mend from his injury.