Now, 877 yards and a torn ACL later, Ballard is considered an elder statesman when it comes to playing in the AFC South.
And it's true. Ballard is one of the most experienced running backs when it comes to playing in the AFC South. Turnover at running back in the division has taken place during the offseason. Gone are division fixtures Chris Johnson in Tennessee and Colts nemesis Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville. Even Ben Tate is gone in Houston.
Houston’s Arian Foster is sitting at the top in the division. He’s rushed for 5,063 yards and 45 touchdowns in five seasons with the Texans.
Ballard rushed for 814 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie season in Indianapolis. His second season came to an end during Week 2 when he tore his ACL while making a cut during practice.
All signs point to Ballard being ready for training camp where he’ll compete with Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw for carries. Don’t automatically assume Ballard will be the third back because Richardson did not play well after the Colts acquired him from Cleveland in Week 3 last season. Bradshaw needs to prove he can stay healthy after having his season end in Week 3 with a neck injury.