The Colts offer their support to Ballard after another season-ending injury
ANDERSON – Just two days before, he was singing the praises of good health.
Then it turned 360 in the matter of 48 hours. More specifically 24.
When Chuck Pagano met the media on Thursday he indeed had a healthy squad free of injury-which was hardly the case for the coach in 2013. But on Saturday morning he had to greet the media with a common refrain-a season-ending announcement.
“We feel awful for Vick,” said Pagano when confirming the news that Vick Ballard will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left knee, which he suffered in a non-contract drill on Saturday. “He’s been a warrior for us, going down with the knee a year ago, non-contact drill. Same thing this year.
“The way he fought and battled and rehabbed and trained to get back. It’s very, very unfortunate.”
Ballard will now miss two of the first three years of his NFL career, which came after he led the team in rushing during his rookie year in 2012. It was expected that Ballard would have made up a three-back tandem with Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson as the Colts continue to push a power running game.
“It’s heartbreaking for me man, he’s like a brother to me,” said Bradshaw of Ballard. “I was taking pride in helping him out a whole lot and trying to improve both our games and helping each other-him and Trent also.
“It’s heartbreaking for me to see that happen and all I can do is help him fight through this.”
While their sympathies are with Ballard there comes the issue of replacing him on the field. The Colts have Daniel “Boom” Herron and Chris Rainey to possibly serve as replacements for Ballard while the option to go and sign another back is still in play.
Pagano said the team has not made the decision yet if the will bring in another running back or go with the lineup they have.
“We’re still discussing the roster mechanics,” said Pagano of his discussions with general manager Ryan Grigson. “We’ll make a decision, check and see whose available and, again, what’s best for the team and what gives us the best chance to win and see if we need the legs there to get us through camp.
“And try to get someone in here who actually has an opportunity to compete and make a roster.”
A list that just 24 hours ago was finally healthy.