ANDERSON, Ind. — A freak injury on a non-contact play during Thursday's practice will cost the Indianapolis Colts the services of starting running back Vick Ballard for the season.
The team announced Friday that Ballard tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he put his foot in the ground to make a cut, and the injury will require surgery. The second-year running back was placed on injured reserve, and seventh-round pick Kerwynn Williams was elevated from the practice squad.
"We feel awful for Vick," head coach Chuck Pagano said. "We all know Vick was headed toward having a fabulous year. We know and understand injuries are part of this game. We'll deal with it. Nobody handles adversity quite like this team and this locker room. It's next man up."
That man is veteran Ahmad Bradshaw, a free-agent addition who missed the entire preseason rehabbing a foot injury. He carried just seven times for 26 yards in last week's win against Oakland.
"We're going to get to see a lot more of Ahmad," Pagano said. "He's excited, obviously, and feels bad about what happened."
Fifth-year running back Donald Brown also will work into the mix. He didn't have a carry against the Raiders but served as a special teams captain and recorded one tackle on a kickoff return.
Brown said the Colts can't afford to allow the injury to change anything about their preparation for Sunday's game against Miami.
"Unfortunately it's the game of football, and it's not the first time it's happened to somebody on this team this season, and unfortunately it probably won't be the last either," he said. "It's a very tough injury, and you hate to see somebody who puts in the work like (Ballard) did, to see that happen to somebody like that. But next man up, and you have to keep going."