Ahmad Bradshaw is finally eligible to practice. He still may not play for a while.
On Tuesday, coach Chuck Pagano said Indianapolis had activated the former Giants running back and linebacker Pat Angerer from the physically unable to perform list. The Colts wasted no time in putting Angerer on the field, sending him in halfway through the morning walkthrough.
The timing of Bradshaw’s actual return isn’t as clear.
"He feels great, and if it was left up to him, he would go today," Pagano said. "But we’re going to protect him from himself. He’s going to be day-to-day."
The Colts had about a dozen players sit out of Tuesday’s practice in pads, including the latest addition — Coby Fleener, who has a concussion.
Bradshaw has not practiced since opening training camp on the PUP list, barring him from practice. After he participated in a walkthrough last week, the Colts and league officials began talking about whether Bradshaw, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his right foot, should be activated.
"We had discussions with the league concerning Ahmad’s status and decided it was time to bring him off the list," Pagano said.
Bradshaw is now eligible to play in Sunday night’s preseason game against his former team, but that isn’t going to happen. The former New York star told reporters he did not expect to play.
Bradshaw was cut by the Giants on Feb. 6 and didn’t sign with Indy until June 11. In six seasons in New York, Bradshaw had 921 carries for 4,232 yards, 32 TDs and three 1,000-yard seasons. He also won two Super Bowl rings and will be best remembered for scoring the go-ahead touchdown against New England in the 2012 Super Bowl, which was played in Indianapolis. It’s the only time a Super Bowl was won with a rushing touchdown in the final minute.
He left New York ranked sixth all-time in yards rushing, seventh all-time in carries and ninth all-time in TD runs.
When fully healthy, Bradshaw is expected to compete with Vick Ballard and Donald Brown for the Colts’ starting job.
"We’re going to take it slow. I feel great right now, but it’s a process," Bradshaw said. "The most exciting part is that I see a lot of potential for this offense."
Angerer also has been recovering from offseason surgery on his right foot.
Indy took Angerer in the second round of the 2010 draft, and he wound up starting 11 games and making 50 tackles as a rookie. In 2011, Angerer led the Colts and finished fourth in the NFL in tackles (146). Last season, though, Angerer was slowed by a foot injury and finished with 57 tackles, started only three times and missed five games.
The absence of Fleener leaves Indy thin at tight end. Dwayne Allen, who was expected to work with Fleener in double tight-end formations, is already out with an injured right foot. Allen was on crutches for practice. The only other tight ends on the roster are Dominique Jones, who caught one pass last season, and Justice Cunningham, the last overall pick in this year’s draft.
Pagano said Fleener was going through the concussion protocol but it means he will probably be out at least a couple of days.
Indy also signed cornerback Johnny Adams and linebacker Monte Simmons, and waived injured linebackers Justin Hickman (foot) and Quinton Spears (hamstring). If Hickman and Spears clear waivers, they will go on injured reserve.