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Vick Ballard a 'poor man's' Edgerrin James, coach says

Running back Vick Ballard has emerged as a nice surprise for the Indianapolis Colts this season, a fifth-round pick who has given the team some balance on offense.

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Ballard had his best game in last week's win over the Tennessee Titans, rushing for 94 yards on 19 carries. Colts interim coach Bruce Arians describes Ballard in an interesting way.

"He's powerful," Arians said this week, according to NFL.com's Jeff Darlington. "He's a poor man's Edge (Edgerrin James). He's bowlegged like Edge and he's about the same size, and tough to bring down.

"He's quick, he's elusive, doesn't have the great, great speed, but he can make the first guy miss and he's going to make a lot of yards because he makes people miss. He's got a great future."

The Colts moved Donald Brown to injured reserve this week, a move that solidifies Ballard's place in the Colts' lineup. Arians isn't worried about Ballard faltering because of an increased workload. Ballard has carried the ball 146 times for 562 yards and a touchdown.

"I've always said the ball's not very heavy -- it's how many times he can take those hits," Arians said. "I've got all the confidence in Mewelde (Moore), as far as Vick (Ballard) tapping out and putting another guy in and him going right back in the game as soon as he's fresh. As young as he is, I mean it's been a long grind for him, it's a long season for a rookie and he's got some aches and pains, but he's tough and I think he's a winner. I think he'll show up and play big."

Though the Colts keep winning, quarterback Andrew Luck's play has slipped in recent weeks. If Indy is to advance to the postseason and be a player in the tournament, they'll have rely on more than just their rookie quarterback. That's where Ballard comes in.

Follow Jeff Darlington on Twitter @JeffDarlington.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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