PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 07: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles is hit hard by Gary Brackett #58 of the Indianapolis Colts after throwing a pass on November 7 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
On the Monday after the Colts game, Bill Polian told listeners of his call-in radio show that the team thinks Gary Brackett, Clint Session, and Justin Tryon were on track play this Sunday against the .
Getting these players back would not only be a big boost to the defense, but also the special teams. Players like Pat Angerer and Tyjuan Hagler, both solid special teams contributors, have had to start on defense for several weeks while Brackett and Session have been out. With them, supposedly, on pace to return this week, Angerer and Hagler can go back to focusing on special teams.
Also, if Justin Tryon returns, the Colts gain arguably their best cover corner back. Tryon is also good as a kick and punt returner, and with Brandon James getting waived this week, it's likely that Tryon will get back to running back kicks.
However, last night's practice report seemed to throw cold water on Polian's Monday evening optimism:
Not practicing Wednesday for the Colts: middle linebacker Gary Brackett (toe), defensive back Aaron Francisco (thigh), defensive end Dwight Freeney (rested), defensive back Kelvin Hayden (neck), offensive tackle Charlie Johnson (back), defensive tackle Ricardo Matthews (back), defensive tackle Dan Muir (hamstring), defensive back Bob Sanders (biceps) and linebacker Clint Session (elbow).
Tryon did practice fully though, as did Mike Hart. Players who practiced on a limited basis were Joseph Addai, Austin Collie,and tight end Brody Eldridge. Of those three, getting back Eldridge is the most critical. While I don't have the numbers in front of me right now, the Colts running game has suffered dramatically since he left the Texans game in November with a rib injury.
If the Colts can get a healthy Mike Hart and Brody Eldridge on the field this Sunday against the Cowboys, the running game will improve. If they can't, we're in for a long afternoon.