INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts running back Joseph Addai expects to
return Sunday at Oakland after missing the past eight games with a
nerve injury in his left shoulder, the first positive news on the
injury front for Indianapolis in quite a while.
"I feel like it's a great chance. I feel like I'm heading in
the right direction," Addai said Thursday, one day after
participating fully in practice. "I felt good. I didn't set myself
back. Really, I'm just happy to put on a uniform and just get back
Linebacker Clint Session also is likely to play after missing
the past seven games with a broken arm and a dislocated elbow.
Their returns coincide with the Colts losing wide receiver Austin Collie for the season. He sustained a concussion last Sunday
Addai has 5,280 yards from scrimmage and 46 touchdowns in five
seasons. He rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown against Washington
this season before hurting the shoulder.
"He understands all the nuances," coach Jim Caldwell said.
"He is very, very smart. He's a guy that can make you miss, but
also has power and catches the ball out of the backfield. He's also
a very good pass protector."
The Colts average 95 yards rushing with Addai and 78 without
him. They also has a higher average per carry and generally
control the clock better when Addai plays.
"He brings so many intangibles," Caldwell said. "He certainly
does make a difference."
Caldwell didn't say whether Addai would start, or how carries
would be distributed if he is available. Donald Brown is coming
off a career-best 129-yard performance, and the ground game has
been effective the past two weeks.
"A lot of it just depends on where he is when we finish the
week," Caldwell said. "We'll get a real good sense of that. After
we make that assessment, we'll make a determination on how Joe will
play for us."
The Colts (8-6) are in control of the AFC South and will try to earn a third straight victory Sunday when they visit the Raiders.
Indianapolis' win over Jacksonville last Sunday forged a tie atop the South with the Jaguars, who would have claimed the division with a victory. The Colts, who cannot clinch the division title this week, will own the tiebreakers over the Jags with two more wins.
The Raiders (7-7) are 0-5 against non-division AFC foes but 5-0 in division games, and visit Kansas City in their finale. They could become the first team to win every division game and miss the playoffs since the NFL went to divisions in 1967.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.