Colts Lose RB Ahmad Bradshaw to Ankle Injury
The NFL’s best offense may have just taken a hit it can’t account for. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who had arguably been the only thing giving the Indianapolis Colts any semblance of a running game, injured his ankle in the team’s week 11 loss and could be lost for the season.
Early reports suggest Bradshaw may have suffered a broken ankle, which could result in the versatile running back being placed on season-ending injured reserve. At best, Bradshaw likely would miss somewhere between 4-6 weeks even with a slight fracture.
It’s bad news for Bradshaw, who already has a history of foot and ankle issues. While it almost certainly means Bradshaw is done for 2014, it could also signal the end of his time in Indianapolis, as the 28-year old will potentially enter free agency in 2015 with two straight season-ending injuries.
The loss of Bradshaw puts further pressure on failed acquisition Trent Richardson, who the Colts received in a trade with the Cleveland Browns a year ago. Indy got Richardson for a first round draft pick, but instead of getting an elite franchise running back, they received what has ultimately been an inconsistent and often ineffective running back that needed Bradshaw to help him make the running game even passable.
Of course, Richardson is a former top-five pick and has the talent to take on a bigger role and prove his critics wrong, but so far it hasn’t happened. Richardson will undoutedbly take on a bigger role going forward, with his paltry 3.4 yard per carry average being put to the test.
Efficiency and productivity aside, Richardson probably isn’t going to be enough to keep Indy’s offense as balanced as it needs to be to make it through the tough AFC in the playoffs. Bradshaw at least masked Richardson’s flaws, but without that other dependable running back, the Colts could struggle to find continuity on the ground.
Ultimately, the loss of Bradshaw, who was technically a backup, could easily end up being the difference in the Colts just being a playoff team and an actual Super Bowl contender.
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