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

Doug BaldwinNov 25 07:43p

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Tyrod TaylorNov 25 07:23p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) said he will play in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Malcom FloydNov 25 06:53p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (hip) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) were limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Case KeenumNov 25 06:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Dexter McClusterNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Kendall WrightNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Mark IngramNov 25 06:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram's (shoulder) injury isn't expected to be a major concern after resting last week during the bye. It's unclear, however, if his shoulder injury [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 25 06:23p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (abdomen, kidney) is confident that he will play again this year, but a timetable for his return at this point is tough to gauge. [ More ]

Leonard HankersonNov 25 06:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) is still bothered by a hamstring strain, and the Falcons may continue to take their time with his injury. Hankerson previously missed two [ More ]

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 25 06:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Stedman BaileyNov 25 05:53p

St. Louis Rams WR Stedman Bailey (head) is out of surgery and will be in an intensive care unit for 3-5 days. Doctors are hopeful he will make a successful recovery.

Danny AmendolaNov 25 04:43p

New England Patriots WRs Julian Edelman (foot), Danny Amendola (knee) and Aaron Dobson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Glenn DorseyNov 25 04:33p

San Francisco 49ers DT Glenn Dorsey (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25, after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 11.

Marshawn LynchNov 25 03:53p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hernia) will return in three to four weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery Wednesday, Nov. 25, but he could be [ More ]

Matt ForteNov 25 03:33p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) and WR Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) are both listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26.

John BrownNov 25 03:13p

Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Martellus BennettNov 25 02:53p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett (ribs) has been ruled out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Michael FloydNov 25 02:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Emmanuel SandersNov 25 02:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Charcandrick WestNov 25 02:03p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) is out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Johnny ManzielNov 25 01:33p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel's tenure with the Browns may not be over, according to head coach Mike Pettine. 'I certainly hope not,' Pettine said, when asked if Manziel [ More ]

Marshawn LynchNov 25 01:23p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hernia) underwent successful sports hernia surgery Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to a source. The hope is that Lynch can return in late December.

Christian PonderNov 25 01:03p

Updating a previous item, free-agent QB Christian Ponder (Raiders) signed with the Denver Broncos Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to a source. Ponder will start out as the team's No. [ More ]

Zach ErtzNov 25 12:53p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) is officially out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Ryan MathewsNov 25 12:53p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (concussion) is officially out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Sam BradfordNov 25 12:53p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder) is a long shot to play Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Detroit Lions. He practiced fully Wednesday, Nov. 25, and is questionable for Week 12.

Tyrod TaylorNov 25 12:43p

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) is feeling better and likely to play in Week 12, according to head coach Rex Ryan. 'I think Tyrod is going to play,' [ More ]

Devonta FreemanNov 25 12:33p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) is still in the first phase of the concussion protocol and won't practice Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Marcus ThigpenNov 25 12:23p

Buffalo Bills RB Dan Herron and WR Denarius Moore were cut Wednesday, Nov. 25. WR Marcus Thigpen was re-signed by the Bills.

Christian PonderNov 25 12:23p

Free-agent QB Christian Ponder (Raiders) will sign with the Denver Broncos, according to a source. He'll be the No. 3 quarterback.

Frank GoreNov 25 11:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore (knee) is out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Joseph RandleNov 25 10:43a

Free-agent RB Joseph Randle (Cowboys) was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 24, in a Kansas casino on charges including felony criminal threats, misdemeanor assault of a law enforcement officer, interference with [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group