INDIANAPOLIS — Sometimes with a hamstring injury, it can be tough to know when you're 100 percent ready to go — especially at a position like cornerback, which can have so many sudden changes of directions throughout a game.
For Darius Butler, however, he's been on the sidelines long enough. He's ready to go.
Butler, who suffered a painful hamstring injury Week 2 after intercepting a Denver Broncos pass and going down to the turf on what was a sure pick-six, has been slowly, but surely working his way back in practices for the Indianapolis Colts, and expects to make his return Sunday, when the Colts play host to the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Officially, Butler is listed as questionable, but, to him, all signs point to "go" against the Bears.
"It's been real tough," Butler said. "Anytime you've got to watch from the sidelines and not be out there with your guys and helping get a W is always tough — being home watching the game, being on the sidelines watching the game. But I'm glad to finally be out there at practice (this week), and I'm looking forward to playing on Sunday."
Butler says he's been a little more careful this time in not rushing himself back to the field too early. He said he had pushed himself "a little fast" earlier in the year to get back from a different injury, but believes this time around, he's had a good mix of treatment and rest, and doesn't feel he'll have any limitations whatsoever.
"I think I gave myself the proper amount of time to get right on all aspects so that I can attack it full speed and not kind of stick my toe in the water — (I've) just got to jump in there and let it fly," Butler said.
Butler could be one of the final remaining pieces to return for a Colts secondary that had been decimated with injuries early in the season. Now that Butler and fellow cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson are fully healthy, as well as safeties Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green — each of whom missed time in recent weeks with various injuries — Indianapolis will let it fly defensively against the Bears and quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has played admirably in place of an injured Jay Cutler.
"He's a good quarterback. He can make all the throws. If he gets into a rhythm, he's tough to stop," Butler said of Hoyer. "So we have to do a good job of getting him off the spot and not letting him get in a rhythm. That also comes with stopping the run. If you try to limit him and make them a one-dimension team, then it'll be tough on them. So that's our gameplan going into it."