Ballard uses Wayne as motivation in rehab

January, 20, 2014
Jan 20
3:00
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Lost in Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne's road to recovery from his torn ACL stands the 5-foot-10 running back with his locker right next to Wayne's. And just like the future Hall of Fame receiver, Vick Ballard is trying to regain his form from a torn ACL.

Ballard
Ballard didn't need any extra motivation once his recovery started, but watching the 35-year-old Wayne grinding it out on a daily basis in his rehabilitation pushes him even harder.

"Reggie, he comes here and stays all day, gets two or three rounds of rehab in," said Ballard, who is 12 years younger than Wayne. "Once I saw him do it, I was like, 'Hell, why can't I do it, too?' When I leave here, I go home and sit on the couch, so it definitely changed my perspective on it."

Ballard, who rushed for 814 yards during his rookie season in 2012, tore his ACL while taking part in a running back's drill in practice just days before their game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.

"It was very tough, especially in the big games and the big victories and stuff like that," Ballard said about missing the season. "I know I'm still part of the team, but I wanted to be sore on Monday mornings and stay late on Wednesdays, stuff like that. God had a different plan for me, so I'm just playing the cards I was dealt."

Ballard said he expects to be ready for the start of training camp in late July. He'll have an opportunity to push Trent Richardson -- and Donald Brown if he re-signs -- for snaps because nobody pulled away from the pack this season to be the clear starter next season.

"I think we had like four running backs on IR," Ballard said. "It'll be interesting to see how they handle it. But I really don't try to think about things like that. I was telling my mom the other day, she asked me what I thought, and I was like the only thing I can do is worry about my knee and let everything else handle itself."

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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