2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Brown getting 2nd chance to deliver for Colts

By MICHAEL MAROT - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-02 17:44

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts running back Donald Brown waited patiently for a chance to start this season.

When he finally did, Brown delivered.

The strong, silent running back who spent 4 1/2 seasons trying to break through finally did Sunday, rushing for 46 of his 54 yards on the Colts' final drive and scoring Indy's only touchdown in a 22-14 victory over Tennessee that put them on the verge of an eighth AFC South title in 11 years.

''I knew regardless of what happened, my number would get called in some form or fashion,'' Brown said Monday. ''When it is, you just make the most of it.''

Coach Chuck Pagano was so impressed with Brown's effort that he said Monday that Brown would start again this weekend when the AFC South-leading Colts (8-4) visit AFC North-leading Cincinnati (8-4) - a pivotal game for playoff seeding.

Brown has seen just about everything in his 4 1/2 seasons in the league.

As a rookie, he was part of a team chasing perfection on its way to an AFC title. Two years ago, he endured the ignominy of an 0-13 start and the chase of imperfection. Last year, he was part of the second-greatest turnaround in league history, and now the Colts are one win, or one Titans loss, away from clinching their eighth division crown in 11 years.

But for most of that time, Brown has watched those things happened - and this season has been no different.

When starting running back Vick Ballard went down with a season-ending knee injury after the season opener, Indy turned to offseason acquisition Ahmad Bradshaw. When Bradshaw was lost with a season-ending neck injury after Week 3, the newly acquired Trent Richardson inherited the job even though he was still learning the offense. And as Richardson's struggles continued and the patience of fans waned, the Colts continued to make Brown the change-of-pace guy.

Brown never complained. Instead, he just kept working, knowing his chance would come.

''He is the ultimate team guy,'' NFL sacks leader Robert Mathis said. ''He doesn't like to talk about himself because he's not his favorite subject. He just goes to work and he just lets his play do all the talking.''

Brown prefers it that way.

But this was not the plan Indy had when it took the UConn star with the 27th overall pick in 2009. Back then, the Colts envisioned Brown becoming the workhorse back and the eventual replacement for Joseph Addai.

Though he never quite lived up to the billing, he refused to give up and became one of the most respected guys in the locker room.

''He's a great pro. He's reliable. He's accountable,'' Pagano said.

It's been tough.

Brown started only nine times in his first two seasons, running for just 778 combined yards and five touchdowns. Even in 2011, with Peyton Manning out and the Colts' offense sputtering, Brown was one of the lone bright spots averaging 4.8 yards on 134 carries. Yet he still found himself playing behind Addai and making only two starts.

It looked like Brown might get another chance when Indy cleaned house last season and kept Brown around.

Instead, after taking Luck's first NFL pass for a long touchdown in the 2012 preseason opener, Brown lost the starting job to Ballard when he got hurt and never won it back. Brown finished the season with 57 carries for 324 yards and three TDs.

Critics have long complained Brown can't pass block, pointing to a blown pickup on fourth down late in a loss to Miami in Week 2 as one illustration, and that he didn't hit holes hard enough. Today, those same people champion Brown's patience to set up blocks, something they don't believe Richardson has done well enough. Richardson is averaging 2.8 yards per carry since coming over from Cleveland in a September trade, while Brown has thrived in mostly limited action.

He rushed three times for 65 yards at Jacksonville, six times for 37 yards against Seattle, three times for 15 yards at San Diego, six times for 49 yards at Houston and 14 times for 80 yards and two TDs at Tennessee before Sundays' showing. Indy's only lost just one game during that stretch - to the Chargers.

And Brown doesn't have any plans to change things now.

''Just staying the course,'' he said when asked what's different this year. ''Knock on wood, staying healthy, staying strong. Just obviously studying the game plan inside and out. It's knowing what everybody else is doing and then obviously knowing what the defense is going to do. It's just studying, staying healthy and just staying patient.''

Notes: Pagano said Daniel ''Boom'' Herron will have surgery for a torn pectoral muscle and will be placed on season-injured reserve. ... Starting defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois is expected to miss two to four weeks after being diagnosed with a partially torn plantar fascia. ... Pagano also said Jeff Linkenbach, who started at right guard Sunday, has a slight tear in his quad and is listed as week-to-week. ... The Colts are planning to ease three other injured players - cornerbacks Josh Gordy (groin) and Greg Toler (groin) and backup linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle) back into practice this week in hopes all three could play against the Bengals.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan TannehillSep 15 04:15p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill struggled to deliver accurate passes in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, and TE Charles Clay had several dropped passes. Tannehill was 5-for-16 (31 [ More ]

Chris IvorySep 15 04:11p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson played 27 snaps in Week 2, while RB Chris Ivory played 27 and RB Bilal Powell played 17 snaps Sunday, Sept. 14.

John AbrahamSep 15 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) will return to the team, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Abraham had been mulling retirement.

Keith RiversSep 15 04:02p

Buffalo Bills LB Keith Rivers (groin) will be tested this week to gauge how close he is to returning from a groin injury. Rivers did not practice last week [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 15 03:32p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) is undergoing an MRI on his injured left ankle, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Charles TillmanSep 15 03:32p

Chicago Bears CB Charles Tillman (triceps) will likely be placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIISep 15 03:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will not be placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

DeSean JacksonSep 15 03:12p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is day-to-day with a shoulder sprain. His status for this week's game is yet to be determined.

Jerrel JerniganSep 15 02:42p

New York Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan (foot) has a mid-foot sprain and is being evaluated. There is no timetable yet on his return.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 15 02:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) had his right knee taped Monday, Sept. 15, but appeared to be walking fine.

Rod StreaterSep 15 02:32p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (hip) suffered a hip flexor injury Week 2.

Marques ColstonSep 15 02:32p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston, who didn't catch a pass in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns for the first time in 87 games, wasn't even targeted a [ More ]

Walter ThurmondSep 15 02:32p

New York Giants CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) is out for the season as he will undergo surgery for a torn pectoral Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Justin JonesSep 15 02:22p

Free-agent WR LaQuan Williams (Ravens) and TE Justin Jones (Patriots) are scheduled to work out for the Kansas City Chiefs Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to a source.

Donald BrownSep 15 02:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown is likely to fill the void as the team's every-down running back with RB Ryan Mathews (knee) sidelined.

Nevin LawsonSep 15 02:22p

Detroit Lions CB Nevin Lawson (toes) could very well be out for the season after undergoing surgery on his dislocated toes, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Lawson suffered [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 15 02:12p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is scheduled to work out Tuesday, Sept. 16, in order to test his injured thigh.

Marcedes LewisSep 15 02:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (ankle) is a candidate to be placed on the Active/Reserve/Injured list because of his high ankle sprain, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Tavon AustinSep 15 01:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and is expected to miss around two weeks, according to a source.

Chad HenneSep 15 01:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne is still the starting quarterback for now, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Mark IngramSep 15 01:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram (hand) suffered a broken hand in the team's Week 2 game and will miss at least four weeks, according to a source.

Carson PalmerSep 15 01:42p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said he wasn't close to playing in Week 2 against the New York Giants. He described his injury as a nerve in his [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuSep 15 01:42p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) played for the first time in Week 2 against the New York Giants since suffering two torn knee ligaments last December. He was [ More ]

Lamar MillerSep 15 01:32p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) left the Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills in a walking boot Sunday, Sept. 14, and his status for Week 3 against [ More ]

Allen HurnsSep 15 01:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (ankle) is considered day-to-day because of the ankle injury he suffered Week 2.

Ryan MathewsSep 15 01:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source. Mathews could [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 15 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Chris McCainSep 15 01:22p

Miami Dolphins LB Chris McCain (illness) hardly played at all in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills after being a big contributor in the Week 1 victory. McCain missed [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 15 01:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was reinstated after being deactivated in Week 2 against the New England Patriots following his arrest on a charge of causing injury to his [ More ]

Marcedes LewisSep 15 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (ankle) will be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a high ankle sprain.

DeSean JacksonSep 15 01:02p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is listed as day-to-day after being diagnosed with an AC joint sprain in Week 2. Jackson left the game in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

R. Griffin IIISep 15 01:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) isn't dealing with a fractured ankle, according to an MRI exam, and he doesn't think surgery is necessary. The best-case scenario for [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group