A DELICATE BALANCE

The Colts used the bye week to accomplish two objectives, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. One was to rest a roster in need of it, and the other was to improve as much as possible.

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Colts Used Two-Practice Bye Week to Rest, Work

INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Caldwell said the goal for the week was attained.

Caldwell, in his second season as the Colts' head coach, said the idea for the bye week this week was to work as much as possible while allowing players a needed rest. The Colts held the second of two bye week practices Thursday.

And Caldwell said the Colts got done what they needed to get done.

"We did," Caldwell said Thursday, 11 days before the Colts (4-2) will play host to the Houston Texans (4-2) in a critical AFC South game on Monday, November 1, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"One of the things is it's a delicate balancing act – to try to make sure you keep your sharpness, but yet you want to give the guys who need some rest a little rest as well."

Caldwell said there was one other bye week objective.

"You want to work with some of the younger guys, too, particularly the guys who are going to probably have to play for you the latter part of the season," Caldwell said. "We think we did indeed accomplish those things in our two days work.

"I know now guys are looking forward to a break."

Caldwell early this week said rest was a priority for the Colts entering the bye, a week off that Caldwell and players said came at an opune time.

The Colts this past Sunday in a victory over the Washington Redskins played without running back Donald Brown (hamstring), cornerback Jacob Lacey (foot), middle linebacker Gary Brackett (groin), safety Bob Sanders (biceps) and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (ankle).

Running back Joseph Addai left the game with a shoulder injury.

"This is the perfect time, not only for me, but for a lot of guys," Addai said. "There were a lot of guys that were injured before the game and a lot of guys that got injured during the game. It is a perfect time. It always seems like the bye week comes at the perfect time because football has turned into such a brutal sport.

"I feel like we are going to take advantage of it and get better. That's really the only thing we can do."

Like many Colts on and off the injury report, defensive tackle Dan Muir said the bye week – and particularly the bye weekend – is a time for time away.

"Just rest, get my feet up and relax, use my recliner a lot, my massage chair," Muir said. "I'll try to get away from football a little bit and watch a couple of movies. Watch some children's shows with my little boy and relax. Eat some food I am not supposed to be eating.

"It just depends on what I feel like cooking that day. It might be steaks, it might be chicken, pork chops and lamb chops."

On Thursday, Caldwell said tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Austin Collie were being evaluated. He said the Colts as of Thursday morning had nothing to report on the duo.

"Within the next 24 hours or so, we should have some clarity on both issues," Caldwell said.

The Colts currently have three healthy tight ends on the roster, having re-signed tight end Gijon Robinson early this week. He spent the past two seasons as the Colts' starting H-back, with rookie tight end Brody Eldridge playing that role this season.

"If that's indeed the case, we'll have to make some adjustments," Caldwell said of the potential absence of Clark. "Certainly, the guys that we have are the guys that will have to adjust and slide into position to make certain we can sort of fill in for Dallas, who's left a vacancy."

Tight end Jacob Tamme, a fourth-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, has caught six regular-season passes for 47 yards.

"It's something we talk a lot about around here, 'Next Man Up,'' Tamme said. "We'll be doing the same thing there. We don't know the exact situation, but the bottom line is we have to step up, get in there, have some fun and do some good things. We're obviously our best team with Dal, but we don't know what's going to happen, and it will be a chance for the 'Next Man Up' motto to take place again.

"I prepare every week to get ready to go in there on offense, and we have a real good offense. I've learned a whole lot from Dal. We'll all get in there and do our best to move the ball and help put points on the board."

Tamme, who also is one of the Colts' top special teams players, also caught 10 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie in the preseason. He had two touchdown receptions this past preseason.

"He has assets that allow him to be flexible, to play multiple positions," Caldwell said. "He can play in-line. He can play obviously wide receiver. He can play in the slot. He's a pretty versatile performer."

Also Thursday:
*Caldwell said no determination yet has been made about who will handle punting duties against the Texans. Punter Pat McAfee will serve a one-game suspension that night. Caldwell said kicker Adam Vinatieri is a possibility to not only punt, but to handle McAfee's kickoff duties. "We're going through some different scenarios," Caldwell said. "We're looking at what our options are."

Colts.com correspondent Jake Thompson contributed to this story.

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