What To Expect From Vick Ballard In 2015?

Intro: With so much intrigue on the running back group in 2015, what should be expected from Vick Ballard?

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INDIANAPOLIS – He might be the greatest unknown, at a position filled with offseason intrigue.

What should be realistic expectations for Vick Ballard in 2015?

Here is a back who as a rookie in 2012 was the team's leading rusher, after being chosen in the fifth round of the draft.

The Colts appeared then to have a young back to complement the impressive pass catchers chosen in the same draft class.

Ballard was the starter to begin the 2013 season. He had 13 carries for 63 rushing yards in the season-opening win on September 8.

Since then (9/8/13), Ballard has yet to play in another NFL game.

"Vick's doing well. He's going through rehab right now. He's on schedule," Chuck Pagano said of Ballard at the 2015 Combine.

"He's been working his tail. When the doctors say he's 100 percent and ready to roll, then we'll get him back on the field."

Ballard's highlights from the last three seasons.

The uncertain outlook for Ballard this season comes after consecutive, non-contact, season-ending injuries.

Before an ACL injury during practice following the 2013 season opener, Ballard had never missed a game due to injury, at any level.

That cut inside the Colts indoor practice facility placed the Colts starting running back on injured reserve.

The mental grind of rehabbing that ACL injury was an admitted burden for Ballard last offseason.

After sitting out the 2014 offseason program, Ballard was eager to get back on the field during the team's Training Camp.

Just days into camp, the horror of another freak injury was real.

Ballard went down with a lower leg injury during pass catching drills out of the backfield.

Back to injured reserve he went.

For the second straight year, Ballard saw the training room far too often.

Trying to gauge how Ballard could impact a polarizing position group in 2015 is a debate with so much mystery.

The memories of 2012 are nearly three years old, but they offer more than enough hope that something special is possible.

"As a rookie, you love what (Ballard) did," Ryan Grigson said at the Combine. "He's still a very young guy. He has all the core traits we're looking for in a runner. He can do all the things you want a runner to do in this offense. You don't have to worry about him for a second because he's going to work his tail off. He runs hard. He's got really good feet. He can avoid. He gets tough yards.

"The picture right in our hallway is the one in Tennessee where he makes the corkscrew diving touchdown to win the (overtime) game in Tennessee. He's so competitive, yet you never hear him say a word and those are the kind of guys we like."

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