The Indianapolis Colts have signed free agent running back Christine Michael and waived running back Brandon Radcliff to make room on their roster, the team announced Thursday.
The four-year veteran running back joins his fifth franchise heading into his fifth season but is coming off a career year in both Seattle and Green Bay. Michael, 26, recorded career-highs in rushing yards (583), receiving yards (107), and touchdowns (8) in 2016 and re-signed with the Packers in March.
Green Bay’s front office decided to release Michael after selecting three running backs in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the veteran running back now joins an Indianapolis backfield that should see plenty of competition for first-team reps in training camp.
Five-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore is expected to be the Colts lead back in 2017, but at 34-years-old, Indianapolis’ coaching staff may be looking to lighten his workload. The Colts also have running backs Robert Turbin and Josh Ferguson returning this season, and selected South Florida’s playmaking running back Marlon Mack at the end of the fourth-round of the 2017 draft.
Despite Gore’s 1,000-yard rushing season in 2016, the Colts still finished with the league’s 10th worst rushing attack in terms of yards.
While Indianapolis’ poor blocking up front surely impacted their ground game last season, the addition of Michael should only elevate the level of competition in the Colts’ backfield.