Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) is upended as 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) moves in to block during the teams' game Sept. 22 in San Francisco. (AP Photo)
INDIANAPOLIS — Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw will miss Sunday's game against Seattle and take a couple of weeks to decide whether to have season-ending neck surgery.
Coach Chuck Pagano said that Bradshaw met with medical specialists Thursday, and the player and doctors will decide what's best.
"I don't know ultimately where that is," Pagano said. "But in the end, it will be up to Ahmad and the doctors."
Bradshaw hasn't practiced for two weeks after he took a hit in the opening series against the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago. He finished the game with 19 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, but hasn't practiced or played since. Bradshaw has 41 carries for 186 yards and seven catches for 42 yards this season.
He could have neck surgery or he let the injury heal on its own, a person with knowledge of the medical options told The Associated Press late Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not provided specific details about the injury.
Losing Bradshaw would be another blow for Indy (3-1), which shares the AFC South lead with Tennessee despite losing three offensive starters with season-ending injuries: tight end Dwayne Allen (hip), running back Vick Ballard (knee) and left guard Donald Thomas (quad).
The Colts traded last week for Cleveland running back Trent Richardson, who started last weekend against Jacksonville and is likely to start again Sunday against the Seahawks (4-0). In two games with the Colts, Richardson has 95 yards on 33 carries and two TDs.
"I like what I see," Pagano said. "I like sitting back there and watching him practice every day. Every time we hand him the ball, it makes me smile."
The Giants released Bradshaw as part of last winter's roster purge. He ran for 1,015 yards on 221 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and scored six touchdowns in 2012, missing four games with injuries. In six seasons with New York, Bradshaw rushed for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns and won two Super Bowl rings.
Donald Brown has 13 carries for 120 yards this year and the Colts will add Robert Hughes to the rushing mix as well.
The Colts expected an improved running game since offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton joined the team when Bruce Arians left for the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job. So far, the offense on the ground has impressed veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
"We've been talking about it since the offseason and it's starting to come to life," Wayne said. "As a receiver it definitely helps when you have a running game that's going to keep the defense honest."
But the way players continue to push Indy's ground game forward despite setbacks hasn't been a surprise.
"Even before Coach Pagano was here, the motto was always, 'Next man up,' " Wayne said. "Coach Pagano, since he's been here, he's been preaching the same thing. Guys have been able to step in and do their job."
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