By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — INDIANAPOLIS — Delone Carter's time with the Indianapolis Colts is up, just shy of the start of his third season with the franchise.
Carter, a fourth-round pick out of Syracuse in Bill Polian's final draft of 2011, was traded Wednesday to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for wide receiver/kick returner David Reed.
Carter appeared in 26 games over two seasons in Indianapolis, starting three. He gained 499 yards on 133 carries and scored five touchdowns. The running back ran afoul of then-head coach Jim Caldwell with three fumbles during his rookie season and lost the ball once in 32 carries last year.
At 5-foot-9 and 232 pounds, Carter was expected to bring a power running element to the Indianapolis offense.
But injuries limited Carter to just 10 games last season, and he missed most of the spring organized team activities after undergoing shoulder surgery. He fell behind rookie Vick Ballard on the depth chart last season and faced an uphill battle to make the 53-man regular-season roster after veteran Ahmad Bradshaw was signed in June.
Carter had 27 yards on 10 carries through two preseason games this year, with a long gain of eight yards.
Reed is in his fourth season out of Utah. He was a fifth-round pick by the Ravens in 2010 and averaged 29.5 yards per kickoff return in his first two NFL seasons, including a 103-yard touchdown as a rookie.
Reed relinquished his kick return duties to Jacoby Jones last season, after fumbling three times in 2011, and appeared in just five games. All five of his career receptions, for 66 yards, came in Week 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Reed also has two career rushes for 31 yards.
He's averaging 31.3 yards on three kickoff returns this preseason, with a long of 38 yards. The Colts have averaged 18.7 yards on nine returns with a long of 28.
"This trade gives us a chance to improve in key areas moving forward," Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson said in a team release. "David is a very competitive football player, and we welcome his style of play and energy. At the same time, we wish Delone well with his opportunity to play for another first-class organization, and we thank him for his efforts."
This is the second trade between the Colts and Ravens this offseason. Indianapolis previously sent backup center A.Q. Shipley to Baltimore for a conditional 2014 seventh-round draft pick.