INDIANAPOLIS – Running back Joseph Addai has had an abbreviated 2011 season, carrying 58 times for 257 yards and one touchdown in starting six games.
Two of the six starts were truncated early because of hamstring issues. Addai suffered the original injury early in the October 9 game against Kansas City. After missing the next game against Cincinnati, he returned only briefly against New Orleans on October 23.
Heading into the open date last weekend, the hopeful return for Addai was this Sunday against Carolina. The sixth-year back practiced on a full basis all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday. Addai knows the tricky nature of the injury and hopes to be back this weekend against the Panthers.
"I feel good. I felt better today than I did yesterday," said Addai on Thursday. "(I) don't want to say if I will be ready on Sunday, but I do feel better as far as going this week. I feel like there's a good chance just off of today's (Thursday) practice. I didn't have any setbacks. A lot of times when I go in practice, have a little setback, tweak it a little bit. Today, I didn't. It felt good. It's still sore, but it feels a lot better.
"My role is whatever coach asks me to do. It's always good when you have backups. You see Delone (Carter) and Donald (Brown) going in there and doing their thing. (You're) at the point where you want to play, but still have to be cautious. That's the thing. (With a) hamstring, you want to go out there and play. But especially at the skill position – DB, running back, where you do a lot of cuts – you have to be smart about that. You could be almost there, push it and set yourself back. It's really that fine line, being smart. These last two days in practice I've been smart. … I'm ready to be back out there."
On Friday prior to practice, Caldwell indicated the situation with Addai could be better than just a 'game-time' decision.
"At this point he looks okay. Today will be another big day for him, just to see where he is. Hopefully, we'll be able to use him. I think we'll have a decent feel today after practice. At least he's trending in the right direction."