Friday afternoon, Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard was carted off the practice field at Colts Training Camp. The Colts hoped for the best, but feared the worst for Ballard, who had just come back from an injury to his ACL last season. After undergoing an MRI, Ballard and the Colts got the answer they were waiting for, Ballard tore his Achilles tendon.
Saturday morning ESPN NFL National Reporter, Mike Wells confirmed what Colts fans were hoping was not true. Ballard will indeed miss another season due to a tear to his Achilles tendon. Now the question remains: what is in the cards for young Ballard?
Mike Wells Tweeted, “Pagano confirms Ballard is out for season with torn Achilles tendon.”
After playing only one game in 2013, Ballard suffered a tear to his ACL that ended his hopes of returning last season. Both of his recent injuries occurred at practice during non-contact drills. Two back to back season-ending injuries later, Ballard’s future is a question mark.
Now that the Colts have their answers, they must determine whether or not the twenty four year old running back is worth holding a spot for, or to search for talent elsewhere. During his rookie season, Ballard did lead the Colts running game. Ballard played in all 16 games, ran 211 times for 814 yards and 2 touchdowns. He certainly showed his potential to be what the Colts had been looking for to step up their game in terms of rushing.
On the other hand, two seasons lost to back-to-back major injuries may indicate an injury-prone player who may continue down this path. The Colts have had their share of players who made major contributions with habitual injury looming.
Take Austin Collie, for example. Collie made his debut in Indianapolis in 2009 where he played an entire season. That season, the young WR was good for 676 yards and 7 touchdowns. The following season, he went out with a concussion and was only able to play 9 games. Two seasons later Collie only participated in one game, again due to concussion.
After the news broke Ballard had been injured again, there was an outpouring of support and kind words through social media. Many Colts fans reached out to Ballard with their hopes and prayers that he will heal quickly and be back on the field soon.
Ballard tweeted, “Thanks everybody who reached out. Going back in the shop. Be back soon! #BTM”
It appears Ballard is in good spirits despite his current situation. He posted a picture of himself being carted off the field on Instagram Saturday with the status “Gonna have a great story to tell one day…”