Indianapolis fans woke up to somber news this morning when Colts officials announced RB Vick Ballard was placed on season ending IR. On Thursday, the former 5th round pick crumpled to the ground in a non-contract drill. The fears of the worst were accurate, as it was confirmed today that Ballard tore his right ACL. Not only does Ballard have a year's worth of rehab ahead, but he also will probably never be this close to a starting tailback position on an NFL roster again. These are the types of injuries that are career killers and it sucks that Ballard's opportunity was taken away from him.
Now, onto the fantasy implications. Typical protocol suggest that the next RB in line, Ahmad Bradshaw, will step in and take the majority of carries. This isn't going to happen on Sunday. Donald Brown will slide up the depth chart into Ballard's role with Kerwyn Williams taking Brown's. Bradshaw is still working is way back into peak NFL running back shape & an expected to playoff bound team like the Colts aren't going to rush him back. They will try and dissipate Ballard's touches equally, so expect only a 5 touch max increase for Bradshaw for Week 2. If you are looking for a plug this week (I hope you aren't, it 's only Week 2) then grab Brown and start him, but he still isn't cracking our top 50 RBs.
The long term outlook is much more appealing for Bradshaw owners. The Colts brought him in late in the offseason with the clear intention to get him the ball. Neither Indianapolis or Bradshaw himself are expecting to see only 8 touches a game. The uptick is coming & savvy owners out there are going to realize it. Making the move today is going to result in paying for the Ballard injury. Once Ahmad logs his 13 slated touches this week & we all see Donald Brown split carries equally, Bradshaw's value will drop to a low point. That's when it is time to buy gamers. Play the waiting game on this one, but be ready to cash in.
We all know Tom Coughlin would give this man 20 carriers this week, that's a guarantee.
As always, read & discuss. You can reach me on Twitter @ClevRocks_James or comment your (dis)agreements below. Thanks for reading.