Colts want even split at running back

Colts want to split carries 50-50 between Ballard and Bradshaw

9/12/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

When the Indianapolis Colts signed running back Ahmad Bradshaw as a free agent back in June, it appeared that he would eventually serve as the every-down back in new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's offense. Bradshaw is considered by many to be more explosive, a better receiver, and a better blocker than incumbent running back Vick Ballard, so if healthy, Bradshaw made sense as the backfield's main man.

Bradshaw got only eight touches in the Colts' season opener, but his lack of action was attributed to having not played at all during the preseason. Most people figured that once Bradshaw was in game shape, he would take over and make Ballard nothing more than a change-of-pace runner. However, that no longer seems to be the case.

Blog Photo - Colts want even split at running backHamilton said on Thursday that his ideal situation in the backfield would be to split the carries 50-50 between Ballard and Bradshaw. While many expected the roles of the two runners to slowly reverse (Week 1 touches went 14-to-8 in favor of Ballard), it appears that they will settle somewhere in the middle.

It is unclear just how long it will take for the carries to even out, so for the time being it looks like Ballard will be the lead man and is the more reliable fantasy play. It could be weeks before Bradshaw matches Ballard in touches, but it could also be as soon as Sunday - it's very tough to predict.

Where Bradshaw once looked like a nice value in fantasy drafts due to his likelihood of a solid workload, the Colts' backfield has now become a very undesirable fantasy situation. Both running backs are risky as of now, and I would do my best to avoid having to start either of them until we get a better grasp of how the work will be distributed. If you absolutely have to play one of these two, I'd go with Ballard, but I wouldn't be happy about it.
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