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While Tony Dungy talks as if Joseph Addai has a chance, our John Clayton and several others have reported Addai is out for two to four weeks with a hamstring tear.
That pushed Dominic Rhodes to the head of the line at running back as the Colts head for Lambeau Field this weekend. It would have meant a bigger look at rookie Mike Hart, but he's done for the year after suffering a season-ending knee injury last week.
Losing Addai won't be the killer some envision, I don't think. The Colts have run for just 69.4 yards a game and 3.3 yards a carry this season. Addai has 62 carries for 216 yards (a 3.5 average), a long of 15 and four touchdowns. In the Colts' last 12 regular season games Addai has not not totaled better than 78 yards.
Rhodes is a capable fill-in. The question marks are behind him, where the team will look to Chad Simpson, an undrafted rookie out of Margan State who was just signed off the practice squad, and Clifton Dawson, a second-year man out of Harvard who was also added this week.
"Chad is a runner," Dungy told Indianapolis media. "He's a guy that I think is going to make yards when he gets the ball in his hands. He can do some things. He's been great for us on the look squad. I think he's going to be one of those guys. He's like Dom in a lot of ways. When he gets the chance to run, he's going to make some big runs."
The Colts have a history of plugging guys in at running back successfully.
"The easiest thing in our offense is to run the running plays," he said. "Learning all the code words, the pass protections, picking up the right guys and running the right pass routes, that's what's tough on the backs. We've been fortunate to have guys who have picked that up pretty quickly, Edgerrin (James) and Joseph especially. The other guys, Dom and James Mungro and Ricky Williams, have had a chance to sit back and watch that part of it, and Chad's gotten a chance to do that over these first six weeks. Usually, when those guys get in the game and they get a chance to run, they usually run pretty well."