Ten months ago, running back Vick Ballard was a fifth-round pick and welcomed depth to the Colts' thin backfield. That shallowness was tested when Donald Brown got hurt yet again, and Delone Carter didn't do anything to stand out. Ballard was called upon to carry much of the load and responded well. The overall numbers don't look impressive -- 3.9 yards per carry, two touchdowns, 15 receptions -- but at least Ballard was able to be there when the Colts needed him. He averaged 21 carries per game over the final five games of the regular season and added 22 more carries Sunday against the Ravens. The Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz wrote Sunday that the "organization seems to have found a workhorse" in Ballard.
Ballard is not a special runner, but he does run hard and has already shown more durability than Brown. He needs to be a better pass blocker and his stock should go up when the Colts inevitably upgrade their offensive line this offseason. There is little doubt that Ballard will be the team's top RB at the start of next season and if he keeps getting as much work as he did this season, the touchdowns will come.