By Danny Cox

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 30: Vick Ballard #33 of the Indianapolis Colts runs through a tackle by Kareem Jackson #25 of the Houston Texans during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Vick Ballard (Credit, Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Colts’ Running Back Vick Ballard Gone for Season due to Non-Contact Injury

The Indianapolis Colts just lost their leading rusher from all of last season, for the year. Second-year back Vick Ballard is set to undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee for a torn ACL, and he has already been placed on Injured Reserve to finish his year early.

Ballard was injured in Thursday’s practice during a non-contact drill, and it is being described as a “freakish” occurrence.

“Nobody touched him,” running back Ahmad Bradshaw said. “Everybody saw it. They just gasped. He was going through the hole on a team drill. He was trying to weave through the line. His foot got caught in the ground and it happened.”

The Colts were hoping for a big year from Ballard, but the carries will now go to Bradshaw and Donald Brown. Ballard had 63 yards in the team’s opening season victory over Oakland.

Mark Sanchez Chooses Rehab Over Surgery; Placed on Short-Term IR

Mark Sanchez will not be lost for the entire New York Jets season, but he will be gone for at least eight weeks after being placed on Injured Reserve with Return. This means that he will be eligible to return after eight weeks, but only if the labral tear in his throwing shoulder is healed sufficiently.

Should Sanchez return healthy, then there could be a quarterback competition on the Jets hands at mid-season. Geno Smith is the starter, but he has not performed exceptionally well in the first two weeks.

Jets general manager John Idzik would not commit to Smith or anyone on the team beyond next week’s game with the Buffalo Bills. He said that every position will be a competition for the remainder of the season.

NFL Hands Out Big Fines to Dashon Goldson and Clay Matthews

The NFL has let it be known that a few more fines were handed out after the first week of the 2013 season. Dashon Goldson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received a $30,000 fine by the league for “unnecessarily striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area.”

Goldson was called for a personal foul when he hit Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland in the Bucs opening game loss. Bucs linebacker Lavonte David was also fined for his late hit on Geno Smith, but it was of a lesser amount at $7,875.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was fined $15,000 for his Superman-lunge late hit on Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. This was the hit that was the subject of much discussion due to the error of the referees and the 49ers getting another play out of the whole incident.

For more NFL news and updates, visit NFL Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on


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