Addai Says He'd Like to Play in Season Finale to Prepare for Playoffs
INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph Addai knows what he wants.
What the Colts' Pro Bowl running back said Wednesday he very much wants is to play Sunday in the regular-season finale. And Addai took that a bit further.
More than waiting to play, he said in a very real sense, he may need to play.
Addai, who made the Pro Bowl last season, has missed the last two games after sustaining a shoulder injury earlier this month. He said on Wednesday he wants to play Sunday to help prepare for the Colts' first-round playoff game January 3-4.
"It's really up to the coaches on if I play, how much I'm going to play," Addai said Wednesday as the Colts (11-4) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (13-2) in the regular-season finale at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
"Obviously, you want to get out there no matter what, but at the same time, the playoffs are the week after, so you want to go out there and get the kinks and mistakes out. You want to go out there and get the game feel of what's going on."
Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said Addai was ready to play if needed a week ago against Jacksonville, and said he plans to talk with Addai about how much he will play Sunday.
"Joseph's ready to go," Dungy said. "I'm going to talk to him before the week is out, just about how much he feels like he needs."
Dominic Rhodes, the Colts' backup running back, started in Addai's place the past two weeks, sustaining a chest injury late in a 31-24 victory over Jacksonville last Thursday. Dungy said Rhodes won't play against the Titans.
"Our situation with (Addai) is really kind of based on Dominic," Dungy said. "Dom is down a little bit and is definitely going to be out of this game. That's going to influence what we do maybe more so than how Joseph feels.
"We'll see how is by Saturday, but I know he wants to play."
Also on Wednesday, the Colts released the first injury reof the week, with middle linebacker Gary Brackett (fibula), safety Melvin Bullitt (shoulder), defensive tackle Keyunta Dawson (not injury related-rested), defensive end Dwight Freeney (not injury related-rested), linebacker Freddy Keiaho (hamstring), defensive end Robert Mathis (not injury related-rested), running back Dominic Rhodes (chest), safety Bob Sanders (knee) and running back Chad Simpson (ankle) listed as not participating in practice.
Dungy said on Wednesday Keiaho and Brackett will miss Sunday's game.
The Colts practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday this week and will take Thursday – Christmas – off. The team usually practices Wednesday and Thursday with an off day Tuesday.
"We're going to give our players a chance to spend it at home," Dungy said. "So far, it has been good. I think the concentration level has been good. Our guys understand what we have to do to get ready. We'll come in Friday and put the regular finishing touches on the week."
Dungy also said Wednesday he will take a similar approach to deciding his future as past seasons, meaning he will assess whether to return as head coach once the Colts' season is over. He said he has evaluated the decision each of the past three seasons.
Dungy said has not yet thought about whether he will return next season.
"My focus is what to do with our team and how to get through this week and get ready for next week," Dungy said. "I haven't really thought about that part of it very much."