Running backs coach Eric Studesville said he isn't giving up on Ballage, who has been joined by Jordan Howard and Matt Breida in the Miami backfield, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports.
Ballage may get his shot to earn a Week 1 role, but it likely would be a very limited one. With Howard and Breida locked in for roster spots, the Dolphins figure to have Ballage, Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin and Malcolm Perry competing for one or two jobs. It's a situation where special teams value could make the difference, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for a 230-pounder with 4.46 speed who logged 292 ST snaps through the first two years of his career. However, Laird was a bigger factor on special teams last year, and he also showed far more ability in the passing game. This competition won't carry much fantasy intrigue unless Breida or Howard suffers an injury.
Ballage may not have a roster spot with the Dolphins in 2020, Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald reports.
The 2018 fourth-round pick was brutal last season, averaging 1.8 yards on 74 carries and 2.6 yards on 24 targets before an Achilles injury sent him to IR in early December. The injury wasn't viewed as a long-term issue, so Ballage should be fine to take the field whenever the Dolphins are able to practice. With Jordan Howard and Matt Breida now sitting atop the depth chart, Ballage will compete with Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin (ankle) and De'Lance Turner, likely vying for one or two roster spots.
Ballage (Achilles) is facing competition for carries from new backfield mate Jordan Howard (shoulder), Chris Perkins of The Athletic reports.
Ballage and Howard both fit the mold of early-down running backs with limited receiving upside, an indication that they could spend the summer competing for one role. Howard's track record of consistency (4.3 career YPC) stands to give him a clear lead over Ballage, who scrounged up a dismal 1.8 YPC across 74 rushing attempts in 2019. Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird also stand to compete for backfield roles during the offseason.
Ballage (Achilles) could be healthy within a few weeks, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
Coach Brian Flores said Ballage wouldn't have been placed on injured reserve Tuesday if the running back had suffered the same sort of leg injury earlier in the season. Based on those comments, it sounds like Ballage will return to full health long before the offseason program, but he'll need to battle for his roster spot after averaging 1.8 yards on 74 carries and 2.6 yards on 24 targets in 2019. The Dolphins have plenty of draft picks and ample cap space to secure upgrades in the backfield. In the meantime, Patrick Laird will duke it out with Myles Gaskin, Zach Zenner and De'Lance Turner throughout December.
Ballage (leg) is headed to IR, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
In a corresponding move, the team claimed fellow running back Zach Zenner off waivers from the Cardinals. With Ballage no longer in the mix, added work in the Dolphins' backfield is now available for Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin.
Ballage is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Eagles due to a leg injury, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
Ballage appeared to suffer a non-contact injury midway through the second quarter. As long as the second-year pro is sidelined, Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird will handle Miami's backfield reps.
Coach Brian Flores said Monday that Ballage will remain the starter this week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.
Despite averaging a miserable 1.9 yards per carry and 4.5 yards per catch through 11 contests, Ballage will retain his grasp on the starting gig for the time being. Rookies Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin have garnered increased usage in recent weeks -- Laird logged 23 snaps on offense during Sunday's loss to the Browns while Gaskin played 16 snaps -- so Miami's backfield could grow to more closely represent a timeshare as the season continues, unless Ballage is able to start producing more consistently.
Ballage rushed seven times for 13 yards and brought in his only target for 13 yards in the Dolphins' 41-24 loss to the Browns on Sunday.
Ballage couldn't get anything going on the ground, and he also saw Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin log carries. The game script quickly turned against the ground attack, however, as the Dolphins found themselves in a 28-0 hole in the first half. The recent release of Mark Walton ostensibly gives Ballage a clearer path to a lead-back-worthy workload, but that's far from guaranteed in a backfield that still seems destined for a timeshare and on a team whose defense can often put the team in sizable deficits that neutralize the running game. Ballage will look for better production versus the Eagles' stingy run defense in Week 13.
Ballage may have the opportunity to finish the season as the Dolphins' lead back after Miami cut the suspended Mark Walton on Tuesday, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports.
Before the NFL handed him a four-game suspension earlier this month in connection with his three offseason arrests, Walton had seemingly separated himself from Ballage as the Dolphins' lead back following the late-October trade that sent Kenyan Drake to Arizona. Walton was expected to reclaim the top spot on the depth chart once eligible to return Dec. 8 against the Jets, but he lost his roster spot entirely after Miami was made aware of his involvement in yet another "police matter" early Tuesday. While Walton's dismissal aids Ballage, his pitiful efficiency this season (1.9 yards per carry on 64 totes, 3.8 yards per reception on 13 catches) may have already put his standing in the backfield on shaky ground. Rookies Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin now loom as the remaining challengers at running back, and both could see increased chances in the weeks to come if Ballage continues to struggle in both the running and passing games.
Ballage ran for nine yards and a touchdown on nine attempts and added eight yards on five catches during Sunday's 37-20 loss to the Bills.
In the voice of Chandler Bing, could Ballage be any more inefficient? The sophomore back's yards per carry dropped down to 1.9 on the season Sunday and he's had just one game this season in which he averaged more than three yards per carry. He hasn't been much better through the air, averaging 3.8 yards per catch. Certainly, a depleted offensive line and journeyman throwing the ball doesn't help, but Ballage has failed to do much with his rise to the starting role aside from the occasional touchdown, having scored his third of the season Sunday. He'll have a chance to turn the corner in Week 12 against a Browns run defense than ranks 27th in the league surrendering 4.8 yards per carry.
Coach Brian Flores said Wednesday that the Dolphins will continue to lean heavily on Ballage as their lead option out of the backfield, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. "Kalen's done a good job at practice; it hasn't materialized in games," Flores said. "We keep giving it to him, and I think it will turn. He's a good player. He's shown it in practice. We'll keep feeding him and I think he will break through at some point."
While Mark Walton missed the first of four games due to suspension in the Dolphins' win last week over the Colts, Ballage stepped in as the clear No. 1 back, playing 54 of 66 offensive snaps but gaining just 43 yards on 20 carries. Ballage's lack of productivity on the ground has been a recurring theme throughout the season, as his 2.1 yards-per-carry average ranks last among all backs with at least 10 totes. Fortunately for Ballage, none of the other three active backs on the roster -- Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin and De'Lance Turner -- possess much in the way of pedigree or prior NFL experience, so he should remain relatively unchallenged for top duties until Walton is eligible to return to action Dec. 8 versus the Jets.
Ballage carried the ball 20 times for 43 yards in the team's Week 10 win over the Colts. He also added four receptions for two yards.
Though there was speculation about the roles of Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin heading into the contest, Ballage accounted for 20 of the team's 26 total carries. He wasn't able to turn that into a lot of production however, as he averaged just 2.2 yards per carry and his longest attempt went for just seven yards. Still, with Mark Walton (suspension) sidelined for the foreseeable future, Ballage is likely to carry the load in Miami's backfield. He'll look to be more efficient in Week 11 against the Bills.
Ballage figures to see an expanded role in Miami's offense in the coming weeks, with teammate Mark Walton slated to serve a four-game suspension.
With Walton unavailable, look for Ballage to head the Dolphins' rushing attack this Sunday against the Colts, with Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin also candidates to see added opportunities in the coming weeks. While Ballage's team context isn't optimal and doesn't always lead to favorable game flows, he's an option for those looking to add running back depth, with injuries and bye weeks in mind.
Ballage turned seven carries into 19 yards and failed to bring in his only target in Sunday's 26-18 win over the Jets.
Even with Kenyan Drake now plying his trade in Arizona, Ballage's role remains largely unchanged, as Mark Walton stepped into the leading role on the ground with 29 yards on 12 carries. Ballage will be entrusted with the occasional goal-line carry, but the Dolphins don't get there very often. All three of Miami's touchdowns in this one came through the air.
Ballage played 10 of the Dolphins' 60 offensive snaps in Monday's 27-14 loss to the Steelers, finishing with eight yards on three carries and an 11-yard reception.
Though pregame reports suggested Ballage would garner the start Week 8 following the trade of Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals, Mark Walton lined up in the backfield for the Dolphins' first snap. Walton went on to play 51 more snaps on the evening, indicating that he's the clear No. 1 back for the Drake-less Dolphins. Ballage's 17 percent offensive snap share was actually his largest portion since Week 3, but his role isn't sizable enough to make him worthy of rostering in the majority of fantasy leagues.
Ballage will be the Dolphins' starting running back Monday at Pittsburgh, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
In the wake of Kenyan Drake getting moved to Arizona, Miami will entrust the backfield in Ballage's hands first. When Ballage started Weeks 1 and 2, he was granted at least a 50 percent share of the offensive snaps in both of those contests, but he managed just 24 yards from scrimmage and no TDs on 11 touches. There's a decent bet he splits the work with Mark Walton against the Steelers' 19th-ranked run defense (110.2 yards per game).
Ballage could see increased touches going forward with Kenyan Drake reportedly having been traded to the Cardinals on Monday, Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald reports.
Ballage appears to have carved out a role as Miami's top goal-line option, but Mark Walton is the favorite to head the team's backfield. Coming off two consecutive outings in which he scored but failed to eclipse seven rushing yards, Ballage will be difficult to trust against the Steelers on Monday night, even in the absence of Drake. However, it's possible that his role expands going forward, making the second-year pro a worthwhile speculative add in leagues in which he's available.
Ballage ran the ball three times for seven yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 31-21 loss to the Bills.
Ballage duplicated his exact rushing statline from Week 6, managing to score for a second consecutive week. The second-year pro has been eclipsed by both Kenyan Drake and Mark Walton on Miami's depth chart, but he appears to be hanging onto a role as the team's short-yardage and goal-line back.
Ballage ran for seven yards and one touchdown on three carries during Sunday's 17-16 loss to Washington.
Ballage was inefficient as usual on the ground, averaging only 1.6 yards per carry through five contests. His 6-foot-2, 231-pound frame did come in useful in the red zone, allowing Ballage to salvage his day for fantasy purposes. The second-year pro now appears to be operating behind both Kenyan Drake and Mark Walton, making him a risky start in most fantasy formats despite upside around the goal line.
Ballage (foot) is listed as active for Sunday's game against Washington.
He's in uniform, but with Kenyan Drake serving as the team's top back and Mark Walton starting to earn his share of carries in the Miami ground game, Ballage is a risky roll in fantasy lineups.
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