I recall running into Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton in the hallway by the locker room at Candlestick Park after their 27-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in late September. Hamilton, who didn’t say much to the media at that time outside of the one day a week he spoke, walked by and had a huge smile on his face when I mentioned how good Bradshaw looked running the ball.
Bradshaw, who the Colts signed to a one-year contract last summer, rushed for 95 yards on 19 carries against the 49ers that afternoon.
These weren’t just any 95 yards. Bradshaw ran with force, the kind Hamilton envisioned with the power running game with him and Trent Richardson. And Bradshaw did it with an injured neck, suffered on the Colts’ first offensive play. It’s also the same neck injury that ended his season, and likely his short stay in Indianapolis.
Bradshaw had season-ending neck surgery, similar to the one Peyton Manning had, in October.
Bradshaw said in December that he felt good enough to play but the Colts had already placed him on injured reserve, ending his season.
He wants to continue his playing career. It likely won’t be with the Colts, though. Vick Ballard will be back from ACL surgery and Richardson is returning. It’s hard to imagine Bradshaw accepting the role as the third running back on the depth chart.
Prediction: It’s highly unlikely that Bradshaw will be back.