Ballard ready to work as Colts' lead back

October, 10, 2012
10/10/12
2:19
PM ET
With Donald Brown out for a bit following knee surgery, the Colts will turn to rookie Vick Ballard as their starting running back Sunday against the Jets.

Ballard is the new regime’s guy, a fifth-round draft pick, whereas Brown was inherited.

While Brown ran well in the win Sunday against the Packers, well is a team-by-team term. For the Colts, 17 carries for 84 yards is a sufficient day for a back in the Colts pass-centric offense. Brown's contribution against Green Bay was significant.

The Jets just gave up big rushing yardage to Arian Foster and the Texans. But the Colts are 19th in the league in rushing and the Texans are sixth.

Brown or Ballard isn’t close to Foster. But even more significantly, the Colts' patchwork offensive line is not close to the Texans’ blockers, even as Houston rebuilds its right side.

Seth Olsen, who did poor work as a fill-in for Joe Reitz at left guard, has been put on IR with the option to recall. That illustrates just how thin Indianapolis is. The Colts used their one chance to bring someone back from IR down the line on a guy who’s been middling as a backup.

From Bruce Arians’ news conference today: Reitz is still expected out as he’s working back from a long layoff. Center Samson Satele should be back, but the team will be monitoring his knee.

So the line should start out, from left-to-right, as Anthony Castonzo, Jeff Linkenbach, Satele, Mike McGlynn and Winston Justice.

They’ll block some, too, for Delone Carter. The second-year back who seems built for short-yardage situations, was active against Green Bay ahead of veteran Mewelde Moore.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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