With Peyton Manning likely not to have much practice time before the season opener (if he even plays), the Colts will need to help him out more with the running game to limit the hits he’s going to likely take. The Colts re-signed 28-year old RB Joseph Addai is still going to be the main man for the Colts in 2011. Addai played in 8 games (7 starts) for the Colts last year and he carried the ball 116 times for 495 yards (4.3 ypc) with 4 TD runs. He also caught 19 passes for 124 yards (6.5 avg) last year for the Colts. The Colts need Addai to stay healthy if they are to have a good running game in 2011. Addai has played in 66 games (49 starts) in his first 5 years in the NFL and he has carried the ball 977 times for 4,020 yards (4.1 ypc) with 38 TD runs. He has also caught 176 passes for 1,355 yards (7.7 avg) with 9 TD grabs in his career so far. Addai is by far the best back on the Colts’ roster heading into the 2011 season.
24-year old Donald Brown did not excel when Addai’s injuries gave him the shot to be the main man in the running game last year. Brown played in 13 games (8 starts) for the Colts last year and he carried the ball 129 times for 497 yards (3.9 ypc) with 2 TD runs. He also caught 20 passes for 205 yards (10.3 avg) last year. Brown needs to step up this year if he’s ever going to have a big role in the Colts’ offense. Brown has now played in 24 games (9 starts) in his first 2 years in the NFL and he has carried the ball 207 times for 778 yards (3.8 ypc) with 5 TD runs. He has also caught 31 passes for 374 yards (12.1 avg) so far in his NFL career.
24-year old rookie RB Delone Carter out of Syracuse was picked by the Colts last April in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Carter is built low to the ground at 5’9″, 224 pounds. He is in a battle with Donald Brown and Darren Evans for the #2 RB in 2011. Even if Carter doesn’t beat those guys out, he’s still the best power runner by far on the Colts’ roster and that will get him some work in 2011.
22-year old undrafted RB Darren Evans is off to a good start in training camp and the pre-season, catching the Colts’ eyes. He could make the team if he finishes strongly in the pre-season. He could even work his way all the way up to the #2 job for the Colts.
23-year old Javarris James could be running out of time for the Colts. He played in 10 games (0 starts) as a rookie for the Colts last year and he carried the ball 46 times for 112 yards (2.4 ypc) with 6 TD runs. James also caught 9 passes for 63 yards (7.0 avg) last year for the Colts.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE COLTS RBS IN 2011: C