Dec 16, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Mario Harvey (54) shows emotion after a tackle against the Houston Texans in the third quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Colts 29-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

An all Marshall backfield for the Colts? More likely than you think

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Is it possible that the Indianapolis Colts will be fielding an all-Thundering Herd backfield on opening kickoff?

According to Mike Wells of ESPN,  Mario Harvey is getting reps at full back in practice.

With Stanley Havili on the PUP list, Mario Harvey is working with the first-team offense at fullback. Yes, the same Mario Harvey who played linebacker for the Colts the past two seasons. Harvey made the switch to fullback during the offseason because the Colts have plenty of depth at linebacker. “We’re going to have live bullets flying now and like everybody else, we’re going to find out just exactly where he’s at,” Pagano said. “I know where he’s at from a physical standpoint, I know exactly what he can do from a special-teams standpoint, so I’ve got a good idea and a good feeling about him lining up and taking on linebackers and things like that. I don’t think he’s going to shy away from that.”

Trent Richardson may be the starter at running back right now in Indianapolis, but with Vick Ballard out for the season and Richardson only averaging 2.9 yards a carry (on 157 carries) last year, the door is open for Ahmad Bradshaw and his 4.5 yards a carry (on 41 attempts) to see more opportunity while Harvey could line up as the fullback. Bradshaw has to stay healthy but depending on how Harvey adjusts and Havili performs when he gets off the PUP list, there may still be hope for a Thundering Herd backfield combination.

In other Herd in The Pros news…

New England’s Aaron Dobson is still healing from his off season foot surgery but is showing progress according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Hearld.

Though Dobson was one of eight players who didn’t participate in the first practice of training camp, the 2013 second-round pick ran through about an hour of conditioning work. Assistant strength coaches led each player through somewhat different routines, but Dobson endured a number of sprints, cardio workouts and stretches that were designed to get him physically ready for his first practice, whenever that is.

He still has to get healthy but he has the chance to keep the strong tradition of Thundering Herd players at the receiver spot in New England.

In Buffalo, Lee Smith will have more competition for the back-up tight end spot as the Bills signed another tight end from a West Virginia school. No, not that one, I’m talking about Shepherd University. Dominique Jones caught Andrew Luck’s first pass in the NFL during his time in Indianapolis, playing in 10 games with the Colts before being released and signing with the Kansas City Chiefs where he appeared in two games. There may be a depth chart battle (behind Scott Chandler) for the back up spot but it may also depend on how the Bills plan on using either player.  Smith tends to be used more as a blocking option for the Bills but caught five passes for 58 yards last season in Buffalo. With Tony Moeaki expected to miss significant time and Chris Gragg coming back from a heat related injury, both will have a chance state their cases to the Bills coaching staff.

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Tags: Aaron Dobson Ahmad Bradshaw Lee Smith Mario Harvey Marshall Thundering Herd

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