Vick Ballard Injury: Updates on Colts RB's Knee, Potential Return Date
The Indianapolis Colts have lost a key offensive performer ahead of their Week 2 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, second-year running back Vick Ballard has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in practice on Thursday:
Colts RB Vick Ballard is out for season after injuring knee during practice Thursday (@MikeWellsNFL contributed to report).— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2013
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport adds that Ballard suffered a "freak" injury:
#Colts RB Vick Ballard suffered a "freak" knee injury during practice, source says. Having tests for a ligament injury, could end his season— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2013
Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay confirmed that Ballard has been placed on injured reserve:
Breaking News: Vick Ballard placed on Injured Reserve— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 13, 2013
In addition to confirming that Ballard suffered a torn ACL in a non-contact scenario, Colts beat writer Mike Chappell reports that head coach Chuck Pagano is confident the team can overcome the huge blow and will look to bring up running back Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad to replace Ballard:
#colts HC Chuck Pagano: RB Vick Ballard had freak accident at practice. non-contact injury. put foot in ground and knee went out. ACL tear— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) September 13, 2013
Pagano: we feel awful for Vick. Vick headed for fabulous year. Injuries part of game. We'll deal with it. No one handles adversity like us— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) September 13, 2013
Pagano: plan is to bring Kerwynn Williams up from PS.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) September 13, 2013
With Ballard hurt, the Colts will likely lean heavily on veteran back Ahmad Bradshaw, who carried the ball seven times for 23 yards in Week 1 against Oakland. However, the 27-year-old has the potential for a big season for Indianapolis considering he rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season with the New York Giants.
Bradshaw had foot surgery this past offseason and has slowly been making his way back to 100 percent.
The season-ending injury is sure to send shock waves through the fantasy world. Ballard is owned in nearly 100 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues, which means countless fantasy owners will now have to scramble to adjust their lineups for the rest of the season.
Ballard, who carried the ball 13 times for 63 yards in Indy's Week 1 win over the Oakland Raiders, led the Colts in rushing last season as a rookie, racking up 814 yards and two touchdowns in 211 attempts.
The former Mississippi State back proved extremely durable during his time in college and in his first NFL season in 2012, appearing in all 16 of Indianapolis' regular-season games.
Despite rushing for nearly 1,200 yards in his final year with the Bulldogs, Ballard flew under the radar coming into the 2012 NFL draft, where he was selected 170th overall by the Colts.
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