In other words, after all the hype around Trent Richardson, Vick Ballard, and Ahmad Bradshaw ... the Colts are, yet again, dangerously thin at runningback. If Ahmad Bradshaw goes out for the season, no one will be surprised. On a hilarious side note, if Richardson gets injured this week, Indy will have started four different runningbacks in six weeks. And hey, Donald Brown will have his job back. Joy.
Bradshaw, who has 186 yards on 41 carries this season, is unlikely to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Bradshaw originally injured his neck in a Sept. 22 game at San Francisco. He did not practice last week and missed last Sunday's 37-3 victory over Jacksonville. Trent Richardson will continue to start at running back, with Donald Brown backing him up, while Bradshaw is out of the lineup.
What is happening? Is Indy's conditioning team that bad? I can't think of a single player who went out last season and was able to come back strong, and if Indy keeps up their current pace - six starters gone by week 4 - they'll be starting LeVon Brazill beside Griff Whalen (the guy they just let go) in week 12.
It might not be that bad, but when their third-string RB is Robert Hughes ...
Back to my argument for Richardson. Forget the momentum he brought to Indy. Forget the record of Indy and Cleveland since the trade (2-2 before, 5-0 since). Forget the two touchdowns, the twenty carries last week, and that T-Rich is a second year player with a lot of time left. Had that deal not gone down, Donald Brown - I'll get to him in a second - would be the clear-cut runningback going into Seattle, with absolutely no legitimate second option.
Richardson will continue to pay off. Trust me.
And Donald Brown, meanwhile, is finally getting the chance he deserves this year. Last year, he rushed better than I've ever seen, finally coming into his own against Green Bay and putting in some quality starts before his injury. After Indy signed Bradshaw, the debate suddenly became "Brown or Carter?" - granted, Brown's been given ample chances to prove himself, but this time ... I really think he can.
I mean, 20+ yards a rush last week. Only three rushes, sure, but the ability is there.
Give Brown a shot. No one remembers him - Seattle's probably preparing entirely for Richardson - and when Brown comes in, the Seahawks will immediately set up in a pass defense. If the first three plays were:
1. T-Rich in, slant pass.
2. Brown in, run up the gut.
3. T-Rich in if close, play-action.
... Seattle would have no idea what to think. If Indy wants to win on Sunday, they'll need to keep the Seahawks guessing; putting Brown in specifically to run would do just that.