Trent Richardson averaged just 2.9 yards a carry after arriving in Indianapolis last season, and he was even worse in the playoffs. Under ordinary circumstances, a player who performed like that would have a tough time earning any job at all.
But in Indianapolis, where the Colts gave up a first-round draft pick to acquire Richardson from Cleveland, Richardson remains the favorite to be given the starting job. Mike Wells of ESPN reports that Richardson will get the first shot at starting, ahead of Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard. Donald Brown, who was the Colts’ most effective running back last season, left for San Diego in free agency.
Richardson is coming off shoulder surgery, while Bradshaw missed most of last season with a neck injury and Ballard missed all but one game last season with a knee injury. So there are injury concerns with all three running backs.
Assuming everyone can go when training camp starts, however, Richardson will get the first shot. To keep the starting job for the whole season, he’ll surely have to average better than 2.9 yards a carry.