The inspirational win in week five over the Green Bay Packers was not without its damages. On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts announced substantial injury issues to two main players. Starting running back Donald Brown, and starting defensive end/linebacker Robert Mathis, will both be sidelined for at least a few weeks with knee injuries.
Mathis went down in the second half of the win over Green Bay and did not return to the game. Brown was supposedly injured as he ran in the game-winning two-point conversion. Mathis, who currently has a league-leading seven-game streak with at least one sack, will be out for at least two weeks. Brown will be out for a few weeks as well, and has already went through surgery to repair damaged knee cartilage.
The Colts will most likely rotate several players in the absence of Mathis, but no substitution will be able to supplant the attention and intimidation that Mathis draws from opposing teams. The loss of Brown is disappointing as well, due to the fact that he was finally starting to look in good form as the starter for the Colts. Brown had 17 carries and 84 yards in the week six win.
Rookie running back Vick Ballard will take over the starting job for Brown. Ballard has shown good promise and strength in running the ball, so far this season, in a limited role. Expect Ballard to pick up well where Brown left off. Ballard has only has 21 carries for 41 yards this season, but most of those runs were short-yardage attempts. Ballard looked good in the preseason, and could do well with extended carries.