In his rookie year, Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard ranked fifth in in the NFL among rookies in rushing yards with 814 yards. Despite only starting 12 games, Ballard went on to establish a hard nose running style the head coach Chuck Pagano likes.
Ballard was named the starter going into the 2013 season, and had a solid performance in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders.Yet the next week during practice he tore his ACL, and was lost for the season.
For the Colts to advance deeper into the post-season, Ballard will need to be 100 percent and show the flashes of a solid starter he did during his rookie year.
While the Trent Richardson experiment will continue next year, Ballard will need to be the key focus for the running game. His bruising style of running will allow larger holes to open up for Richardson later in the game.
Where as Richardson is a most established runner in open space, Ballard will consistently run straight into the defense for 4 yards almost every carry. This tandem will work out better than the likes of Donald Brown and Richardson did last year, because those player are almost identical in their own styles of running. And while the potential is there for Richardson ( a former number 3 overall draft pick), he will need a solid change of pace running back to allow him to develop into that player that everyone thought he could be.
Luckily for Ballard he was injured in Week 1, and has already well on the road to recovery from his injury. Even when Reggie Wayne went down in Week 7 with his own ACL tear, Ballard used him as motivation to come back stronger than ever.
Ballard stated in an interview with ESPN Reporter Mike Wells ” Reggie, he comes here and stays all day, gets two or three rounds of rehab in, Once I saw him do it, I was like, ‘Hell, why can’t I do it, too?’ When I leave here, I go home and sit on the couch, so it definitely changed my perspective on it.”
Only time will tell if Ballard can come back from a major knee injury to full health and reform, but if he can, watch out NFL. The Colts will be deeper and have more to say on who gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come next February.
Like the story? CLICK HERE to see the original report of when Vick Ballard was lost for the season due to injury.