ANDERSON – It's a situation the Colts did not expect to find themselves in just two days into training camp.
Once Ryan Grigson got the news of Vick Ballard's season ending injury from the Colts training camp staff it was time to evaluate a position that had much promise coming into 2014.
How do the Colts running backs currently look after four Training Camp practices?
-Career Stats: 31 games played (20 starts) in 2 NFL seasons. 455 carries for 1,513 yards and 14 touchdowns.
-Outlook: The Richardson talk has been exhausted all offseason. Even before Ballard went down, Richardson knew how important this season was for him. Chuck Pagano said on Friday (prior to Ballard's injury) that he would like to see a bell cow emerge at the running back position and all signs point to that being Richardson (would rather save Ahmad Bradshaw's legs from being an every down workhorse). It's no secret the Colts needed a more productive Richardson in 2014 and the Ballard injury does nothing to lesson that importance.
* *-Career Stats: 87 games played (25 starts) in 7 NFL seasons. 962 carries for 4,418 yards and 34 touchdowns.
-Outlook: Bradshaw was one of the quieter offseason signings but come November/December this could be the most important of the Colts 2014 free agents. Watching Bradshaw run, you quickly forget that his injury from last year wasn't in the lower body. Instead, he got to rest a nagging foot problem in 2013. The neck injury is still a worry and will be once he starts taking hits week-after-week. Richardson and Bradshaw have to become that one-two punch because there's just 35 combined NFL carries on the roster behind these two.
Daniel "Boom" Herron
* *-Career Stats: 9 games played (0 starts) in 2 NFL seasons. 9 carries for 38 yards.
-Outlook: With Richardson and Ballard not practicing on Friday, Herron got his fair share of first team reps. Last year, Herron was a very effective special teams player for the Colts and showed some burst in mop-up carries. Big Ten fans know Herron from his days at Ohio State, where he was a 1,000-yard rusher and a two-year starter. If the Colts don't make any more additions at the running back position, Herron is a very capable third-back who should continue to fill a role on special teams.
* *-Career Stats: 18 games played (0 starts) in 2 NFL seasons. 26 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
-Outlook: This change of pace back of the running back group might be the player to most benefit from the unfortunate situation to Ballard. If Rainey, a true jitterbug in the open field, can establish himself as the Colts kick and punt returner, then that opens the door for him on the 53-man roster. We saw the Colts last year use Rainey in some offensive packages and defenses must take note when a player with that type of electricity is on the field. Rainey's running style is a major contrast to the previous three backs and the Colts can use that as a weapon. Check back with Colts.com Sunday for a story on the duo of Herron and Rainey as Chuck Pagano shares his thoughts on the two young backs.
* *-2014 undrafted free agent.
-Outlook: To be honest, we haven't really seen enough out of Tipton to make a fair assessment. At 231 pounds, Tipton fits more of the power mold. With Richardson currently being held out of camp for precautionary reasons, Tipton should get some chances to show why the Colts signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan.Davin Meggett
* *-Career Stats: 18 career games played (0 starts) in 2 NFL seasons.
-Outlook: The Colts added Meggett on Sunday morning. He's a guy that knows the offensive system very well after spending time on the Colts practice squad the last two seasons.