INDIANAPOLIS –* *Week 11 of the season marks the final bye week for NFL teams. The Colts fall into the category with Houston, Pittsburgh and New Orleans as teams with their bye occurring after 10 straight games.
The Colts will practice Tuesday and Wednesday of this week before taking a mandated four-day break to end the week.
"Any time you get a bye week, no matter what the situation is, it's good," cornerback Jerraud Powers said following Sunday's 17-3 loss to Jacksonville. "We've been going at it for 10 straight weeks. Guys are beat up and it gives a lot of guys time to recover and get back healthy and get back on the field. You come back off that bye week rejuvenated with a little bit, more pep in your step, so to speak. The bye week should help us out a lot."
Veteran safety Antoine Bethea lost fellow safety Melvin Bullitt early in the season and knows that a break in the 16-game schedule gives a chance for the body to heal.
"The bye week is coming at a good time just to get away and think about some other things," Bethea said. "It's been a while since we've had a break so most definitely the body needs it, and the mind as well. It's coming at a good time."
Defensive captain Gary Brackett was placed on injured reserve after only playing one game in 2011. This season marks the first time in the last decade the Colts' bye falls after week eight. Brackett said it still gives the team and players a chance to re-evaluate their individual play.
"You want to rest up but you want to continue to improve," Brackett said. "This is when you have a self-assessment of how you've been playing throughout the year, really look at yourself, check your tendencies, see some things you need to change to be more effective during the second half of the season. (You) just want to get healthy because a lot of guys are playing banged up."
One player that certainly could use the rest is running back Joseph Addai. After starting the first five games of the season, Addai has been slowed by a hamstring injury.
It is still unsure whether or not Addai will be ready to go against Carolina on November 27, but he said even with a struggling season the bye gives the team a chance to go over fundamentals.
"Win or lose, it's always good to get that chance to go back to Football 101," Addai said.
Quarterback Curtis Painter won't be travelling anywhere during the bye week. Painter said Monday he will still come in during the four off days. Painter knows that even though there is a break in the schedule, the opportunity to improve awaits.
"A few extra practices will be good," Painter said. "We've been talking a lot about us and our fundamentals and techniques so with a few extra passes it will give us a chance to kind of settle down and focus on those things.
"I think (the bye) will maybe help, more on the side of getting some guys some rest and hopefully getting some guys healed up. It's hard to go on a break and forget completely about football. There will be guys still around, watching film and trying to get better even though we've got a couple of days off."
The offensive line has endured a heavy brunt of the injuries in 2011. Nine different players have started along the unit with a total of 12 players seeing game time action. Five of those 12 players have made their NFL debuts in 2011.
Having another week to rest up will be beneficial, but the Colts also will use the off week to take a look at some younger guys.
"It's a delicate balancing act that we are doing this week," Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "We have to be able to get some guys some rest, which we'll do just because we've had so many guys that are banged up in need of it. Yet, there are also some guys that need reps, that haven't played at all."
"We've got to make certain that we get a little bit of both done. Sometimes that's difficult to do, but we will scale things back quite a bit. The practices won't be nearly as long, and we'll try to get them out of here where they can get some time to get away from it as well."
Leading the NFL with 105 tackles (13 more than any other player), middle linebacker Pat Angerer is itching to get back on the field.
"Every time you lose you want to get right back on the field and get that bad taste out of your mouth," Angerer said following Sunday's game. "Obviously, you wanted to go into the bye week with a win, but we'll be back tomorrow working and we'll improve. I know it's the same thing every week but you've got to."