It seems like only yesterday the Cleveland Browns drafted Trent Richardson in the 2012 NFL Draft with hopes of improving the team after posting a disappointing record of 4-12 during the previous season in 2011, landing them fourth place in the AFC North.
Fast forward to the 2013 season, the Browns stunned the entire NFL audience by trading Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for their first round draft pick in the 2014 Draft. For the Colts, it seemed like a great addition to the team after losing starting running back, Vick Ballard, to a season-ending ACL injury.
In his 10 games played as a member of the Colts, Richardson has rushed for just over 300 yards averaging 3.4 yards per carry. It’s almost hard to believe these are the numbers for Richardson who posted 950 yards in 15 games his first year with the Cleveland Browns.
It was recently announced by the Colts that Richardson would lose playing time as the team’s primary running back to Donald Brown.
But is this the right move for the Indianapolis Colts?
Sure, Brown has been in the NFL four years longer than Richardson granting him seniority over the starting position, but what about the numbers?
Brown’s numbers are not too far off from Richardson’s. Brown has rushed for 378 yards this season averaging 5.3 yards per carry scoring four touchdowns, two of which were against the Titans on Nov. 14, to Richardson’s two touchdowns.
However, Richardson has seen more carries during game-time than Brown having secured 139 carries for the season, 31 for Cleveland and 108 for Indianapolis, compared to the 71 carries captured by Brown.
Obviously the stats are not screaming “bench Richardson, start Brown,” nor are they proclaiming Richardson to be the greatest running back the Colts have this season. The two running backs while very different in their game-play are still quite similar statistically, at least for the time being.
The Colts are currently trying to reboot the offense that has fallen short of their potential since coming off their bye week about a month and a half ago.
The question remains, was sending Richardson to the second string the right decision to help send the team to the playoffs or even to a potential appearance at the upcoming Super Bowl?
Since nothing is ever certain, all we can do is wait and see how Donald Brown plays in the weeks to come. But rest assured, I highly doubt this will be the last we see of Trent Richardson. He may have lost this battle, but the war is yet to come!
April Gilbert is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at AGilbert@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com