Indianapolis Colts No. 3 running back Vick Ballard missed almost all of his second season with a torn ACL he suffered during practice after Week 1, and he was excited to return for the 2014 season. Fully healthy entering camp, Ballard is now left fearing the worst, as the Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell reports that Ballard has been carted off the field with an apparent ankle injury. In a later tweet, Chappell added that Ballard injured his left ankle on a passing play, and we can only hope this is a false alarm in the mold of the injuries the New York Giants players suffered on the first day of camp.
But since Ballard missed the entire 2013 season, Colts fans and everyone in general can only hold their breath and cross their fingers. It would be crushing for a young player like Ballard to have to miss back-to-back seasons, though Carolina Panthers guard Edmund Kugbila will already have to face the fact that he won’t be able to play in the first two seasons of his career.
In 2012, Ballard ran for 814 yards on 211 carries for two touchdowns, and he also added 17 receptions. He established himself as a quality rotational RB and was able to net 63 yards on just 13 carries in his only game last season. Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw are the top two RBs on the Colts roster, but Ballard is expected to have a key role heading into the season. Bradshaw is known as an injury-prone back, but it looks like Ballard could have two significant injuries on his hands. At this point, all we know is that he’s been carted off with an ankle injury, so it’s important to be patient, wait for more news, and hope for the best. This could all end up being a non-issue, but we’ll see what unfolds.