The Colts' season is over, so looking toward how to improve in 2014 begins now. The return of integral injured players is one way the team can accomplish that goal. Three injured, notable offensive players who remain under contract -- wide receiver Reggie Wayne , running back Vick Ballard , and tight end Dwayne Allen -- each spoke about their health Monday.
Wayne, who suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 20, said he is "very, very, very confident I can come back better than I was." Ballard missed almost the entire season after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2. He said his injury has healed well enough that he expects to take part in organized team activities this spring. And Allen said he is hoping to be back on the field by training camp after suffering a season-ending hip injury in Week 1.
Wayne's health for training camp is uncertain. At 35 years old, he seems like a long shot. His status may be the team's most important story this offseason.
Ballard will most likely be a backup, regardless of whether the Colts re-sign pending free-agent running back Donald Brown . Expect the Colts to give Trent Richardson every shot to be its full-time starter; they have too much invested in him to give up on him less than one year into his Indy tenure.
When Allen returns, he and Coby Fleener will probably take numbers away from one another. He is a mid-range TE2, but we know he can be productive, and he will give Andrew Luck another talented target.