By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — Ahmad Bradshaw and Pat Angerer now exist in a form of roster limbo.
The veterans were activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Tuesday by the Indianapolis Colts. But neither man participated in the afternoon practice, and neither is expected to play Sunday when the team continues the preseason schedule on the road against the New York Giants.
Bradshaw rushed for 4,232 and 32 touchdowns in six seasons with the Giants before signing with Indianapolis as a free agent in June. He won two Super Bowls with New York and would love to be on the field this weekend.
But the Colts are determined to take things slowly with the running back as he recovers from March foot surgery.
"Well, I can't wait to go back there," Bradshaw said of the Big Apple. "I wish I was playing. It will be a great atmosphere regardless, and I think we'll be fine going into New York."
A procedural error earlier in training camp led to Indianapolis activating Bradshaw perhaps ahead of schedule. League rules prohibit players on the PUP list from taking part in any on-field activities during practice.
The Colts misinterpreted the rule, and Bradshaw briefly participated during a morning walkthrough late in the first week of training camp. After discussing the issue with the NFL, the team and the league mutually decided the best solution was to remove the running back from the PUP list.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said the decision will not alter the team's approach.
"If it was left up to him, he'd want to go today," Pagano said. "We're going to protect him from himself and bring him along just like we said we were always going to bring him along. Err on the side of caution, and he'll be day-to-day. The good thing is he'll be out there. He'll be with his teammates and preparing as if he was going to play, just not going to get the reps right now."
Angerer, who hasn't practiced throughout the offseason, learned he was being activated midway through Tuesday morning's walkthrough.
After receiving the news, the inside linebacker broke into a wide grin and quickly took his place on the field.
"It was a lot of work to get back, and it's going to be fun to get back out there," Angerer said.
He initially injured his foot during the preseason opener last year, and he played through the pain for 11 regular season games. But he needed surgery in January and found himself sidelined again.
Eventually, he'll join the competition to start next to Jerrell Freeman — the man who replaced him last season. But Indianapolis vows not to rush Angerer.
"Even though he's off (PUP), he's much like Bradshaw," Pagano said. "We'll stick him in some walkthrough situations. He'll continue to do most of his rehab and his position work with Erin Barill and our trainers on the side. As soon as he's 100 percent and ready to go, we'll stick him into action. But it's day-to-day."
Bradshaw also figures to join a starting competition soon. But he also will serve as a mentor to second-year running back Vick Ballard — a role he performed with rookie David Wilson last year in New York.
"It fits right in," Bradshaw said of his role as mentor. "They came in (to the NFL) together, and they're two similar backs. Like I said, I taught David the same things, just to slow down, and that's pretty much it."