INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are trying to improve their running game. Ahmad Bradshaw is just the latest piece of the puzzle.
Indianapolis signed the unrestricted free agent Tuesday, adding a veteran running back to its crowded backfield. He will join the team today under a contract whose terms were not disclosed.
Bradshaw, 27, spent seven seasons with the New York Giants, but left the team in February – one of a handful of high-salaried players released as part of roster purge intended to clear salary cap room and bring in younger talent. He ran for 1,015 yards on 221 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and scored six touchdowns last season but missed four games with injuries.
Bradshaw’s focus is rehabbing from right foot surgery in January. He visited the Colts last week and got an evaluation by the team after battling injuries to his knee and foot for much of last year.
I’m taking it slow right now, he said. I’m definitely going to continue my rehab. My focus is just to learn the offense and to get healthy and to be prepared for training camp and the beginning of the season.
Still, Colts coach Chuck Pagano likes what Bradshaw can add to the team – Super Bowl experience, toughness, and putting up big numbers running the ball.
Signing a player like Bradshaw, his résumé obviously speaks for itself, Pagano said. We know he’s coming off foot surgery, he’s trending in the right direction.
As the Colts opened mini-camp, Bradshaw figures to battle second-year running back Vick Ballard, who led the team in rushing as a rookie, for a role in the backfield and with Donald Brown, now in his fifth year. Delone Carter is also in the mix.
After announcing they signed Bradshaw, the Colts waived running back Denodus O’Bryant.
In seven seasons with the Giants, Bradshaw played in 84 of 96 games, starting 33, and rushed for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Pagano has made a point to make the running game stronger and more balanced and has made moves to get there. Last year, the Colts were No. 22 in the league rushing at 104.4 yards per game.
I like having the load on my back, Bradshaw said. But Vick, he’s proved himself and I don’t mind coming in and helping those guys out as much as I can.
Indy board OKs Colts’ new suites
A city agency awarded contracts to build two luxury suites and make other improvements at the home of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Capital Improvement Board approved the $2.1 million project on Monday for Lucas Oil Stadium. The Indianapolis Star reported board members say the project will keep the stadium at a top-notch level to attract other events.