INDIANAPOLIS – Before Sunday, the last time Greg Toler took the playing field the Colts defense was neutralizing one of the NFL's most explosive offenses like no other team has done all season long.
Toler helped a secondary limit Peyton Manning to a season-low in first-half passing yards as the Colts built a 19-point second-half lead.
During the game though, Toler suffered a groin injury that would sideline him for two months.
Fans clamored for the status of Toler week-after-week.
The Colts new cornerback finally saw weeks of frustration subside on Sunday when he returned to the gridiron.
"It's been a long time coming with all the ups and downs through the process," Toler said of playing against the Chiefs. "It felt good to get back out there with the guys. I missed them and they missed me. I'm just trying to get back out there slowly but surely."
Toler played seven snaps, all on third-down, against the Chiefs as the Colts try an ease him back into the secondary.
Throw in adverse weather/field conditions and Toler's experience on Sunday was short-lived in an effort to ramp up reps moving forward.
"Wasn't like we were playing down in South Florida and you could just pull (Toler) off the bench after we were sitting there for four, five, six minutes, whatever it was," Chuck Pagano said earlier this week.
"We want to get him back in the fold, get him back out on the field and let him play some. But then basically during the second half late, pretty much during the fourth quarter, it got to the point where that was enough. Again, just getting him back out there was great for him, great for us."
While Toler was hoping for a few more plays on Sunday, he understood the big picture outlook by the Colts doctors and coaches.
"The (reps) that I did get, I was happy that I was able to judge a couple of deep balls and a comeback route," Toler said.
"I know I didn't get a lot of reps but I felt good with the reps that I did get."
With Toler back in the lineup, the Colts secondary has its starting lineup together for the first time since mid-October.
That should allow Darius Butler to slide back into his more natural inside/nickel position with Vontae Davis continuing to play opposite Toler.
The questions towards Toler on if "Sunday is the day?" weren't coming towards him his week.
Instead, its about a Colts defense that is beginning to look like the unit that frequently dominated training camp session.
"In December going into the February, trying to get to the Super Bowl it's the team that gets hot around that time that goes the furthest," Toler says. "December is what you remember so you try to get hot at the right time and just keep excelling.
"Right now, that's all that we are buying into right now. That's defense, offense, special teams. Right now there's no looking back. We can't keep going up/down, up/down. We are just trying to keep stacking them up, one game at a time."