Wednesday, October 9, 2013
How will the Colts split backfield work?
By Nic Reiner
Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw was placed on injured reserve yesterday and is set to undergo season-ending neck surgery. Last week we discussed the state of Indianapolis' backfield if Bradshaw was out for the season, positing that Trent Richardson will likely transition into a full-time workhorse instead of operating in a quasi-timeshare. Now that Bradshaw has indeed been ruled out for the year, we'll find out out how big Richardson's role can become and if backup Donald Brown will continue to step up.
Brown was only in the game for 17 snaps in last week's victory over the Seattle Seahawks but he made the most of them, gaining 37 yards on six rushes and a 16-yard touchdown.
Richardson is averaging around 3 yards per carry since he arrived in Indy, with no rush longer than 16 yards. He's yet to exceed 60 yards in a game. To be clear, he's been in Indy for three weeks and is presumably still getting acclimated to the offense. It may have been unrealistic to expect greatness immediately, especially with Seattle on the slate early. The injury to Bradshaw is another change he'll have to deal with. We expect his production and efficiency to increase as the season wears on.
Relatedly, the Colts signed Dan "Boom" Herron from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad this morning. The second-year player out of Ohio State appeared in three games during his time with the Bengals, rushing for five yards on four carries in 2012. Herron's untested and unproven to say the least but third on the depth chart is third on the depth chart. He'll get some shots to show what he can do.
Most immediately, the Colts take on the Chargers on Monday night this week, a tasty matchup with a unit that's allowing a NFL bottom-five 4.9 yards per carry. We think Richardson has his biggest performance as a Colt and, if he doesn't, it will be a slight cause for concern.