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Rhodes Looking Forward to Playing Saturday
INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to preseason, one of the Colts running backs figures the fewer carries the better.
Dominic Rhodes, for this week particularly, feels differently.
Whereas Edgerrin James — the Colts’ starting running back — wants to limit his preseason carries, and therefore the hits he absorbs, Rhodes said he wants as many carries as possible Saturday. And Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said Rhodes may get that wish.
To a point, anyway.
Rhodes, the Colts’ top backup at the position who has missed the first two preseason games with a mild groin injury, likely will get 10-to-12 carries in the Colts’ third preseason game Saturday, Dungy said.
“We’d like to get him in the flow and get him back comfortable,” Dungy said Wednesday afternoon as the Colts (1-1 in the preseason) prepared to play the Buffalo Bills (1-1) in a preseason game at the RCA Dome Saturday at 7 p.m.
“We’d like to get him to where he gets a sense of how he is. We wanted to do that in the first two games, but not being totally healthy, we weren’t quite ready to do that. But he is excited. If we could get him the ball some, that would be good.”
Rhodes, who rushed for 1,104 yards as a rookie in 2001, missed the entire 2002 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He played extensively as James’ backup last season, but said he was never quite 100 percent.
Rhodes, who said his knee is fully recovered now, ran effectively early in training camp before sustaining what he and team officials said was a mild groin injury in a controlled intrasquad scrimmage on the first weekend of training camp.
“I’m rusty,” Rhodes said. “I’ve been out about two weeks, so I need to get my groove back before we get back to New England (for the September 9 season opener).”
Had the first two preseason games been in the regular season, Rhodes and Dungy each said he likely would have played.
James, who rushed for 62 yards on 12 carries in a loss to the Jets last Saturday likely will start Saturday, Dungy said. But Rhodes will share time with James early, Dungy said, likely playing extensively with the starters in the first half.
“It’s really getting him ready to go for the regular season,” Dungy said. “He’s going to be a big part of what we do and you would hate to have him go into the regular season with only one or two carries.”
Dungy said while he hasn’t decided exactly how long the first team offenses and defenses will play Saturday, “they definitely will go through the first half.”
“And we want to have them come out, make the adjustments at halftime, and get into the third quarter,” he said. “We’ll see what happens from there.”
In other Colts news, reserve running back Brian Allen underwent knee surgery in California and likely will be out at least a month, Dungy said.
Allen, a sixth-round by the Colts in the 2002 NFL Draft from Stanford, played in four games as a reserve special teams player for the Colts last season. He did not play any games in 2002.
With Allen out, Dungy said rookies Ran Carthon and Daniel Davis likely will get extensive playing time after James, Rhodes and James Mungro leave.
“It will be good to see those two guys, because we’re making decisions at this point and both of them have done pretty well,” Dungy said. “We’ll get a chance to see who really can step it up.”
Also, starting wide receiver Reggie Wayne missed practice Wednesday afternoon after sustaining a heel injury in practice Tuesday.
“He hurt his heel and actually finished practice (Tuesday) and did well,” Dungy said. “But he was a little sore (Wednesday), so hopefully, he’ll be ready to run (Thursday).”
Daniel Davis is competing with Ran Carthon. All I heard from other Colt fans is Brian Allen is competing with Ran Carthon for a roster spot. I'm not really surprised, Davis has looked pretty good. He looks pretty quick, a lot quicker than Carthon. I did see a couple moves by Carthon in the Jets game, he received a short pass and had a guy coming right at him and made a little move and it looked like he completly missed, he did it agian right after that and it seemed that he completly missed agian. Too bad the played only ended up to be 3 yards. But he looked pretty good on that play though, showing that he had some moves to get by defenders. Did anyone else see that play? And who do you think is going to make it at running back?