Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

September 14, 2013

Colts lose Ballard for rest of season

Running back went down in practice with torn ACL.

INDIANAPOLIS — Next man up.

With the news Friday that second-year running back Vick Ballard suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Thursday’s practice, the Indianapolis Colts will now be forced to depend on Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Brown and rookie Kerwynn Williams for the foreseeable future.

Ballard suffered what Colts coach Chuck Pagano described as a “freak” type of injury. He has been placed on the team’s injured list and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

“It was a non-contact injury. Just put a foot on the ground, went to cut on a running play and the knee went out on him,” Pagano said after Friday’s morning workout. “MRI showed [Thursday night] that he’s got an ACL tear and he’ll require season-ending surgery.

“We feel awful for Vick. We all know that Vick was headed towards having a fabulous year. We know and understand that injuries are part of this game. We’ll deal with it. Nobody handles adversity quite like this team and this locker room. It’s next man up. Vick will get through is. Knowing him and his mindset and his work ethic, he’ll come back stronger than ever in 2014.”

With Ballard out of the mix, Bradshaw, Brown and Williams, who was elevated off the practice squad, will be expected to pick up the slack.

Signed as a veteran free agent the first week of June after beginning his NFL career with the New York Giants, Bradshaw will likely start Sunday against Miami. He saw limited playing time in last week’s season-opening win over Oakland, picking up 26 yards on just seven carries. That workload is expected to increase quite a bit against the Dolphins.

“I’m ready,” Bradshaw said Friday. “You have to be ready each Sunday and you never know what happens. But I’ll be ready.”

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