Delone Carter ready to 'seize opportunity' in Colts backfield

USA TODAY Sports

Delone Carter has had a rough couple of years in the NFL thus far, but he believes there's room for him to grow in the Indianapolis Colts backfield.

Since being taken in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, running back Delone Carter hasn't had many opportunities to get things done in the big leagues. He didn't get that much playing time in his rookie season, as the Colts were a team in transition and turmoil. In 2012, he was limited by multiple injuries.

He missed much of the offseason program due to a thumb injury that required surgery, and suffered an ankle injury that cost him the first three games of the season. He then missed the final three games with another ankle injury. But Carter isn't letting it get him down, as noted by the team's official website.

Carter says that he wants to remain healthy so he doesn't "get lost in the shuffle." Here, the shuffle refers to the running back group that includes both Donald Brown and Vick Ballard. The team invested a lot in Brown, making him a first-round pick in 2009. Since then, he's under-performed however, with 417 yards and just one touchdown in 2012.

Those numbers were still above Carter, however. In 10 games, Carter had 122 rushing yards and three touchdowns. But both players need to watch out for Ballard, who was taken in the fifth round last year. He played in all 16 games of his rookie season and carried the ball 211 times for 814 yards with two touchdowns.

Carter still has promising talent, and his first step will be establishing himself as the primary backup. He said that he wants to "be more patient this season and be ready to seize the opportunity." It's likely that Ballard will enter training camp as the starter, with Brown as his backup and Carter being No. 3. He's confident in his ability to come in and compete for those spots, but it's going to be a long and tough road for him.

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