When the Browns sent Trent Richardson to the Colts for a future 1st round pick, many thought the Colts committed highway robbery. However, it’s been anything but smooth sailing in Indianapolis for the former 3rd overall pick of the 2012 draft. The production in the Colts backfield has instead come from the former 29th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Donald Brown.
Brown has been both fantasy and real life irrelevant during his 5 year NFL career, but this year he’s chipped in as a steady contributor in an offense that has lacked any sort of consistency on the ground. With T-Rich continuing to post absolutely anemic numbers, Brown has stepped up to outproduce Richardson, a consensus 1st round pick in fantasy drafts earlier this year.
While Brown has only totaled 243 yards on the ground this year, Richardson’s horrendous display has solidified Brown’s role moving forward. Brown is averaging a stout 5.9 yards a carry vs. Richardson’s meager 3.0. While Head Coach Chuck Pagano may wind up being stubborn with balancing the workloads between the two, the Colts ultimately recognize that Brown deserves 12 + touches in their offense.
Throughout his career, Reggie Wayne has solidified himself as an iron-man at the Wide Receiver position. Sunday night’s win over the Broncos marked the 189th consecutive game Wayne has played in, trailing Tim Brown’s top mark of 199. Now the 13 year veteran’s streak will come to a halt as an MRI has confirmed an ACL tear in his left knee.
On a play late in the 4th quarter, Andrew Luck was under pressure in the pocket and rushed a throw that ended up low and behind Wayne. While Wayne attempted to reach back to make the grab, he tweaked his left knee. He needed medical assistance to get off the field and was visibly emotional on the sidelines before eventually heading the locker room. The Colts were weary of a torn ACL and a Monday MRI has confirmed their worst fears. The Colts will need more consistent production from the stone-handed Darrius Heyward-Bey and vertical receiver, T.Y. Hilton. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Colts pursuing a WR in advance of the October 29th trade deadline. Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon, and Kenny Britt are among the biggest names that could potentially be available via trade.
Vick Ballard reportedly suffered a “freak” knee injury at Thursday’s practice. The injury is expected to sideline the second-year RB for the rest of the season. The injury comes just a day after the Colts announced their intentions to implement a time share between Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw in the Indianapolis backfield. Obviously, Ballard’s injury crushes those hopes and boosts Bradshaw’s value going forward, assuming he himself can avoid injury.
The Colts coaching staff was apparently raving about Ballard’s pass-protection from their Week 1 win over the Raiders. However, Bradshaw has excelled in pass-protection throughout his time with the Giants and shouldn’t have any problems manning those duties.
Ahmad Bradshaw is in line for a heavy workload, following Vick Ballard’s season-ending knee injury.
Look for Bradshaw to shoulder the load this weekend vs. the Dolphins, with Donald Brown getting more involved on 3rd downs and occasionally spelling Bradshaw for a few carries.
Yesterday, Bradshaw’s value plummeted as much as anybody’s, with the announcement the team would establish a 50/50 timeshare moving forward. Not 24 hours later and Bradshaw has firmly grabbed the team’s lead role. Bradshaw will have back-end RB2 and solid flex value moving forward. Let’s just hope his feet can remain healthy enough to make it to the back-end of the season.