INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, the Colts activated Ahmad Bradshaw off the Physically Unable to Perform List.
Signed by the club in June and added to that list in July prior to camp because of off-season foot surgery, Bradshaw has yet to practice with the team in full – but that time is coming.
"We're just going to take it slow. I feel great right now," said Bradshaw. "I feel I'm ready to go. It's just a process I have to go through to be ready for the pounding and practices every day."
Bradshaw has observed practices to this point, getting as much mental work in as possible until his physical return.
Bradshaw acknowledged today that his assimilation into the offense is "not much, the cadence (laughs), a lot of different things. They do a lot of different things here, just terms. I just have to get that way."
Chuck Pagano says the plan is to bring the seventh-year pro and two-time 1,000-yard rusher along slowly.
"He'll be day-to-day," said Pagano. "We'll prepare him as if he was going to play. He just won't get the reps right now. We're going to throw him in the mix. It will add to the competition."
In six seasons with the New York Giants, the Colts' opponent this Sunday, Bradshaw started 33-of-84 games and rushed for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns, and he deepens competition in the Colts' backfield that chiefly includes Vick Ballard and Donald Brown.
Bradshaw will return to New York this Sunday with the Colts, but he does not intend to play. He indicated action in the third preseason game, August 24 against Cleveland, would be a time to target.
He says the foot feels strong and that he is "just ready to get out there with the guys and develop that relationship, getting my line right and the guys around me."
The Colts plan to have a more blended offense in 2013, with an eye toward a more power running attack.
Free agency and draft moves to add linemen for that approach happened prior to Bradshaw's addition, and Bradshaw, who rushed for 1,235 yards in 2010 and 1,015 yards last year, is a key component to make it happen.
He joins a Colts backfield where Ballard is running with the first team. Ballard is a second-year player who can benefit from Bradshaw's savvy.
"Just like (what) Reggie can bring to the wide receiver room, Ahmad's going to bring…that type of mentality to the running back room," said Pagano. "He has a couple of (Super Bowl) rings also."
Bradshaw was a member of the Super Bowl XLII and XLVI champion Giants teams, and he scored the game-winning touchdown on a six-yard rush in the second title match, a 21-17 victory over New England.
The 5-10, 214-pound back will add a brutish presence.
"He runs angry, that's all I know. He's a downhill, straight-ahead, no dodging type of guy," said Pagano. "He has homerun capability. We know that first-hand. He's an every-down back. I know he can be a third-down back. I know he can be a pass protector. It will take him a minute to knock the rust off."