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Kalen Ballage

Kalen Ballage

Running Back #33
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Ht / Wt:6'1" / 228 lb.
College:Arizona State
Born:December 22, 1995
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 4 (131)
Draft Team:MIA

Kalen Ballage: Joins Chargers' practice squad

Ballage signed to the Chargers' practice squad Friday.

Analysis: The 24-year-old was cut by the Jets at the start of the week after an ugly showing in Week 4, but he'll now make his way to the Chargers. Ballage has a legitimate chance of being promoted at some point since Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is on injured reserve and Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson are the only remaining running backs on the roster.

October 9, 2020 1:23 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Time up in New York

The Jets cut Ballage on Monday.

Analysis: Ballage made a handful of costly mistakes during last Thursday's loss to the Broncos, including a badly missed blocking assignment in the first half and a poor decision to stop ahead of the first-down marker just before the two-minute warning. His departure is also a likely hint that Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) could be activated off IR for Week 5.

October 5, 2020 1:24 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Costly mistakes in Week 4 loss

Ballage didn't record a carry and caught two of three targets for 11 yards in Thursday's 37-28 loss to the Broncos.

Analysis: Coach Adam Gase views Ballage as New York's best pass-catching option out of the backfield, even though Ballage hasn't done much to earn that trust. He completely whiffed on his blocking assignment in pass protection in the first quarter but was bailed out when Sam Darnold broke out of a would-be sack and took off for a spectacular 46-yard rushing touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Ballage had just one man to beat for a first down with the Jets driving for a go-ahead field goal just before the two-minute warning, but he opted to trot out of bounds three yards before the marker, and the Jets went on to turn the ball over on downs. Despite those errors, Ballage will likely continue to see the field in passing situations as long as Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) remains sidelined.

October 2, 2020 10:25 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Active as receiver in Sunday's loss

Ballage rushed for eight yards on two carries and caught all five of his targets for 44 yards in Sunday's 36-7 loss to the Colts.

Analysis: With the Jets playing from behind most of the game, Ballage saw extra work as a receiving option for Sam Darnold and ended up leading the Jets in receptions while tying Chris Hogan in targets. With Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) not eligible to come off IR until Week 5, Ballage could continue to be the team's top passing-down back, although that role isn't likely to lead to consistent production in one of the NFL's weakest offenses.

September 27, 2020 6:07 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Off Week 3 injury report

Ballage (ribs) practiced fully Friday and doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Colts, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reports.

Analysis: Ballage upgraded to a full practice after a pair of limited sessions, clearing him for the trip to Indianapolis. The third-string running back is unlikely to see the field much, though the Jets will need to get creative with their personnel groupings, as the team could be down to as few as two healthy wide receivers.

September 25, 2020 1:47 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Limited in practice once more

Ballage (ribs) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, Ralph Vacchiano of SportsNet New York reports.

Analysis: The Jets didn't have any of the three backs on their active roster available for full work Thursday, as starter Frank Gore received a veteran's day off, while Ballage and La'Mical Perine (ankle) both had their reps capped. So long as Ballage is able to upgrade to full participation Friday, he'll stand a good chance at avoiding an injury designation heading into Sunday's game against the Colts. In his Jets debut Week 2 versus the 49ers, Ballage played eight offensive snaps, carrying once for five yards and reeling in both of his targets for 12 yards.

September 24, 2020 11:56 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Dealing with rib injury

Ballage (ribs) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Andrew Walker of the Colts' official site reports.

Analysis: Ballage got three touches in his Jets debut last week, but he apparently picked up a rib injury in that one, joining New York's lengthy injury report. Even if he suits up against the Colts on Sunday, Ballage is unlikely to play a significant role.

September 23, 2020 1:46 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: One carry in Week 2

Balalge rushed once for five yards and caught both of his targets for 12 yards in Sunday's 31-13 loss to the 49ers.

Analysis: Ballage was used sparingly after being signed by New York earlier this week. Even with all of the Jets' injuries, Ballage is unlikely to take on a significant role in Week 3 against the Colts.

September 20, 2020 6:09 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Links up with Jets

The Jets signed Ballage (hamstring) on Tuesday.

Analysis: The Jets previously attempted to acquire Ballage from the Dolphins in late August, but the trade was voided after the running back failed his physical due to a hamstring injury. Miami later released Ballage, freeing him up to join New York now that he's seemingly healthy again. Ballage will step in to provide a healthy body behind Frank Gore, who now sits atop the Jets' backfield depth chart after Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Rookie La'Mical Perine (ankle) -- when healthy -- also looms as a challenger for reps behind Bell, while practice-squad back Josh Adams could also be promoted back to the active roster ahead of the Jets' Week 2 game against the 49ers. Even if Ballage emerges as the top complement to Gore this weekend, the 2018 fourth-round pick did little during his time with Miami to get excited about his prospects. Over his two seasons with the Dolphins, Ballage averaged 3.0 yards per carry on 110 attempts and hauled in 23 of 35 targets for 3.4 YPT.

September 15, 2020 1:56 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Cut loose by Miami

Ballage (hamstring) and the Dolphins agreed to an injury settlment Sunday, Safid Deen and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Analysis: Ballage had his trade to the Jets nullified after failing his physical due to a hamstring injury, will now be able to hit the open market. The 24-year-old saw action in 12 games with the Dolphins in 2019, carrying the ball 74 times for just 135 yards and three scores. He'll look to get healthy and find a depth role elsewhere around the league.

September 6, 2020 11:26 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Staying in Miami for now

Ballage has reverted back to the Dolphins after a hamstring injury led to a failed physical that nullified his trade to the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The report notes that Ballage likely will be released and could later sign with the Jets. The trade was merely for a conditional late-round pick, one that may have depended on Ballage actually playing snaps for the Jets. It isn't clear the 2018 fourth-round pick will have a role with an NFL club this year.

August 30, 2020 1:03 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Headed to New York

The Dolphins plan to send Ballage to the Jets in exchange for a conditional late-round draft pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Per the report, the Dolphins had planned to release Ballage, but the Jets made a subsequent offer and now the running back is poised to join a backfield that already includes Le'Veon Bell, Frank Gore and La'Mical Perine. In that context, there's not a clear path to carries for Ballage, but he is at least a player who coach Adam Gase is familiar with from the time the two worked together in Miami in 2018.

August 27, 2020 10:49 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Jettisoned by Miami

The Dolphins cut Ballage on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The Dolphins telegraphed Ballage's departure via the signing of Salvon Ahmed earlier Wednesday. The team gave Ballage every opportunity to prove himself worthy of a role on offense in 2019, but his averages of 1.8 yards on 74 carries and 2.6 yards on 24 targets were the lowest mark of any member of the backfield. The 2018 fourth-round pick's size and athletic tools should result in him finding a depth role with another organization, and at this point a change of scenery could be for the best.

August 26, 2020 6:05 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Battling for role

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.

Analysis: 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.

August 9, 2020 6:32 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Facing roster competition

Ballage may not have a roster spot with the Dolphins in 2020, Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald reports.

Analysis: 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.

April 30, 2020 5:28 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Stout competition arrives

Ballage (Achilles) is facing competition for carries from new backfield mate Jordan Howard (shoulder), Chris Perkins of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: 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.

March 20, 2020 9:50 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Should be healthy soon

Ballage (leg) could be healthy within a few weeks, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Analysis: Coach Brian Flores said Ballage wouldn't have been placed on injured reserve if he'd suffered the same leg injury earlier in the season. It sounds like the running back 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.

December 4, 2019 8:20 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Lands on IR

Ballage (leg ) is headed to IR, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: 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.

December 3, 2019 2:03 PM EST

Kalen Ballage: Leaves game Sunday

Ballage is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Eagles due to a leg injury, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Analysis: Ballage appeared to suffer a non-contact injury midway through the second quarter of Sunday's contest. As long as the second-year pro is sidelined, Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird will handle Miami's backfield reps.

December 1, 2019 11:12 AM EST

Kalen Ballage: Retains starting job

Coach Brian Flores said Monday that Ballage will remain the starter this week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Analysis: 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.

November 25, 2019 11:44 AM EST

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