Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson has had a terrible season to say the least. Billed as one of the most promising tailbacks in the NFL when he was traded by the Cleveland Browns to the Colts back in 2013, Richardson has subsequently failed to live up to that star billing.
If Richardson's first year for the Colts was a struggle then his 2014 NFL season has been much worse. The former Alabama product only managed 3.3 yards a carry during the 2014 regular season, with a shocking 519 yards from 16 starts.
This poor form led to Ahmad Bradshaw dominating in the run game for the Colts, and rookie back Dan Herron after the injury to Bradshaw. Things got even worse for the back during the Divisional Round of the playoffs, with Richardson losing his back-up spot in the Colts' depth chart for their 24-13 win in Denver.
Huge decline for former star RB
Zurlon Tipton was the man to replace Richardson in the Colts' lineup for their win against the Denver Broncos, while Michael Hill also replaced Tipton on the active list of players.
Richardson's inactive status for the huge playoff clash shocked plenty of fans on Twitter, but with Pagano's decision working well, it's clear to see that Richardson's career in Indy is all but over.
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Pagano comments on Richardson's demise
Pagano almost said as much post-game, with the Indianapolis head coach explaining the reasoning behind his decision to bench the underperforming back.
"Michael Hill was a special teams player and Trent -- it's not any knock on Trent -- but Trent's never been asked to be a special teams player," Pagano said on Monday, according to NFL.com.
"He was doing everything for a period of time to try to get himself ready. But Michael was more ready to go out and be the third back and contribute on special teams."
The fact that Pagano does not directly answer why Tipton got the start ahead of a healthy Richardson proves that Richardson's Indianapolis career is on life support, with the Colts very likely to pull the plug at the end of the season.