The first week of the Colts' summer training camp is over, as well as the season for two starting players. Both running back Vick Ballard and offensive lineman Donald Thomas have received season-ending injuries, before the season has even begun.
Ballard was the first of the two to be injured, having torn his left Achilles tendon on Friday the 25th. He was immediately carted off the field, and will be unable to return for the rest of the season. Sadly, this is not the first time the 24-year-old has experience such a devastating injury. In the week after the first game of the 2013 season, Ballard tore the ACL in his right knee, and missed the rest of the season. His absence lead to the deal that landed Trent Richardson with the Colts in order to replace him.
It was announced yesterday that Donald Thomas would share his fate, after tearing his right quadriceps. It was the same injury he sustained eleven months ago, in a game against his former team, the Miami Dolphins. Thomas was due to play as a starter, and hill be e succeeded by rookie Jack Mewhort.
A brief moment of panic also occurred this week, when T.Y. Hilton left the field after he was tackled by cornerback Greg Toler. Hilton rose from the tackle holding his hand, and was quickly taken off the field by his trainers. An examination revealed that he had only jammed a finger, but the incident further revealed the worries the team has about injuries. He has since returned to practice, and appears to be in good form.
This series of injuries is particularly worrying due to the Colts' past struggles with injuries. According to the Adjusted Games Lost, an index used to measure the effect of injuries on a team's record, the Colt's have lost more games due to injuries than any other team in the league in the last five years. The next closest team, the New York Giants, have lost the second most, but are still ahead of the Colts by 50 games.
But despite the injuries, the team is maintaining a determined attitude. Coach Pagano and the team have been wearing black t-shirts, with the Lombardi trophy printed on them above the word "Decide." When asked, Pagano elaborated on the meaning, saying "Individually, players, coaches, everybody in this entire organization from the top down, everybody just has to decide how badly they want it. What are you willing to sacrifice to hoist that trophy and dance under the confetti?"
Sharing his determination is returning wide receiver Reggie Wayne. He has been seen catching passes and running routes as though his own injury never even happened. In a statement to reporters, he said that "I haven't had any pain. Nothing has set me back." He has also said that he wants to earn over 1,000 receiving yards this season, which only three players have done over the age of 36. When asked how he plans to do it, all he could say was "Just be the Reggie of old."
The team will continue their training camp in Anderson, Indiana, as they prepare for their first preseason game against the New York Jets.
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Tags: Donald Thomas, Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, NFL, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Vick Ballard
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