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Chuck Pagano explains Trent Richardson's benching

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Trent Richardson was a healthy scratch Sunday in the Indianapolis Colts' biggest game of the season.

Explaining the decision to deactivate Richardson in favor of a running back signed off the street just last week, coach Chuck Pagano cited special teams experience.

"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 Monday, via The Indianapolis Star. "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."

That makes sense. But it doesn't address Richardson losing the No. 2 job to Zurlon Tipton, a hybrid back with 10 career rushing attempts entering the postseason.

With the season on the line, the Colts couldn't escape the plain fact that Richardson had been holding the offense back since the mid-season injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and Reggie Wayne.

Even for a player due $3.184 million in guaranteed salary, that bodes poorly for Richardson's chances of earning a spot on the final roster next summer.

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