Indianapolis Colts Bounce-back Candidate: Vick Ballard


Vick Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts has seen football at its worst. After a rookie campaign that saw him rush for 814 yards and catches 17 passes for 152 more in 2012, Ballard has been on the shelf the last two seasons nursing ACL and Achilles injuries, and now finds himself looking up at Frank Gore and Dan Herron on the depth chart.

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But while significant amounts of cartilage may have left Ballard’s body, his talent hasn’t. And with Gore entering the 2015 as a 32-year-old with 10 seasons and 2442 carries to his name, there will be carries available for whoever stakes a claim as the second back. And getting back into things with less carries could be exactly what Ballard needs.

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Throwing the 25-year-old back into a situation where his knees are taking 200 carries a season immediately is probably not the best way to work him back in. Like an innings limit in baseball, the Colts would be smart to limit Ballard’s carries this year if they want to keep him healthy. With Gore and Herron both in the mix, they can afford to do that.

And like a relief pitcher that comes on and throws 15 pitches in the high-90’s, being used sparingly will allow Ballard to run hard on every carry without concern of saving his knees for the other 20 carries he’s due for over the course of a game.

Often times, players who may not be stars when put in the spotlight do thrive as complimentary parts. With Ballard playing in an offense that features Gore, T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Donte Moncrief, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, he’ll garner almost no attention from opposing defenses. That could very well work to his advantage, and combined with his fresh legs, Ballard will have every opportunity to get back on his feet in 2015 and position himself to be a more prominent part of the Colts’ offense in future seasons.

Next: Colts Roster Breakdown: Wide Receivers

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