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Richardson deal looks even better for Colts

10/9/2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- At some point over the past two-plus weeks, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson probably sat back in his office, wiped the beads of sweat coming down the side of his face and said to himself he’s happy he went out and acquired running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns last month.

Grigson, a person who is always looking for ways to upgrade the roster, should be in consideration for executive of the year based simply on the trade for Richardson on Sept. 18 after Vick Ballard went down with a season-ending knee injury. It also helps Grigson that his Colts are 4-1 this season.

The Colts placed running back Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve Tuesday, a move that was expected following a second opinion on his injured neck. He plans to have season-ending neck surgery.

Bradshaw injured his neck against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept 22. It’s unknown when the injury actually happened, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it occurred on the second play of the second quarter. Bradshaw got up after a 1-yard run, then went back to the ground before eventually making it off the field on his own and the training staff looked at his shoulder. Bradshaw returned to the game and finished with 95 yards on 19 carries.

Bradshaw’s brief time with the Colts ends with him gaining 186 yards on 41 carries.

He injured his neck in the second game of the 2012 season while with the New York Giants. He overcame that injury to still play in 14 games.

Now, it’s officially all Richardson. If Grigson wouldn’t have acquired Richardson, the Colts could possibly be looking at a backfield of Donald Brown and rookie Kerwynn Williams.

Richardson and Brown, who has been impressive in his limited carries, will be the primary backs. The Colts are fourth in the league in rushing at 142 yards per game.

Richardson’s start with the Colts has been a slow one. He’s rushed for 35, 60 and 56 yards in his first three games.

The Colts need Richardson to build off his second-half performance against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend -- 54 yards on 12 carries -- so that he can continue to gain confidence running the ball. His 10-yard run on third-and-5 helped kill some more clock late in the fourth quarter. The Colts eventually kicked a field goal to go up six in their 34-28 victory over the Seahawks.

“He stays patient and he sticks to it, and it’s only going to get better,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Again, with every game, with every carry, he’s getting more and more comfortable.”

That’s what the Colts like to see.