As 2014 training camp comes closer, the Indianapolis Colts will have several interesting position battles to keep an eye on. Possibly the hottest roster race will be in the running back spot. Several veteran backs will compete to be the lead horse in the Colts’ stable, but which rusher will emerge?
The Colts dealt with several-season ending injuries to two key running backs, early in the 2013 season. After losing starting backs Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw, the Colts decided to make the much-discussed trade with the Cleveland Browns, for former 3rd overall draft pick, RB - Trent Richardson. Richardson was less-than impressive, and former starter RB – Donald Brown finally seemed to step up late in the season.
Brown is now a member of the San Diego Chargers, and both Ballard and Bradshaw are still going to be injury possibilities. The spotlight this season will be squarely on the shoulders of Richardson, who is not only playing for expectations, but also for a future contract extension. If Richardson can emerge as the talent who was drafted in 2012 behind only quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, then he and Luck could help lead one of the most dynamic and destructive offenses in the NFL. If Richardson continues to sputter for minimal gains on multiple carries, that horse could easily get sent out to pasture.
If the Indianapolis running backs and stay healthy, there’s a good chance that the Colts will rotate all three players. Richardson is a punishing back, while Ballard is more of a speedster. Bradshaw at his best, is a combo back that can do a bit of everything. Expect to see a lot of all three players in 2014, and fans will keep their fingers crossed for a healthy and productive run to the postseason.