Carries there for taking in crowded Colts backfield

Arthur Arkush
Carries there for taking in crowded Colts backfield

Throw a dart at the Colts’ depth chart and it’s likely to land on a position group where a battle will ensue for playing time once training camp gets underway in three weeks. One such position where a heck of a battle could unfold is at running back, where holdovers Donald Brown, Delone Carter and Darren Evans will compete with offseason acquisitions Mewelde Moore, Deji Karim and rookie Vick Ballard for carries.

Brown, the gamebreaker of the group, figures to have a leg up on the competition, as he is coming off a career year in which he tallied 4.8 yards per carry. The former first-round pick made strides as a runner last season, but he will be guaranteed nothing under a new regime.

The former Steeler Moore, a ninth-year veteran who has been a productive third-down back and is well-versed in coordinator Bruce Arians' scheme, has the best set of hands of the group. Moore brings added value on special teams, an area the new coaching staff will be eager to fix.

Meanwhile, Carter, who missed virtually the Colts’ entire offseason workout program while recovering from thumb surgery, will have to show first and foremost that he is over the fumbling issues that plagued him as a rookie. His ball security coming off the thumb injury should be watched during camp, we hear.

Ballard, a fifth-round pick this past April, impressed the coaching staff throughout his first offseason and will definitely be in the mix for playing time. A lot like Carter, Ballard is a downhill runner who seeks out contact and could get looks down by the goal line.

As for Karim and Evans, it would appear their best shot to carve out a roster spot will be on special teams. Evans has good size but lacks home-run potential and Karim, after showing real promise as a kick returner as a rookie in 2010, regressed in Jacksonville last season.