Created: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 7:45 p.m. CDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 8:18 p.m. CDT

Spann visits NIU practice

Former Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann was kept on the Indianapolis Colts' 53-man roster over the weekend. Then things got a little shaky.

Spann, who visited NIU practice Wednesday at Huskie Stadium, was soon put on injured reserve with a strained left hamstring. The injury occurred during the first quarter of the Colts final preseason game Sept. 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Spann finished the game, but he called the strain "pretty significant" on Wednesday.

Even more significant was the amount of injuries Indianapolis has dealt with during the preseason, including starting quarterback Peyton Manning.

"Really, it's a numbers game," Spann said. "Right now, with Indy, I made the 53-man roster, but there's a lot of other injuries on the team as well. We had a bunch of injuries, and you can only dress 46 people in a game. We barely have 46 healthy bodies.

"We had five running backs, and I was the one that was hurt. To make space to get other people in we put me on injured reserve."

A player on injured reserve is not available for the season. However, Spann and the Colts reached an injury settlement, which Spann defined as "an agreement that I will be injured for a certain number of weeks." Spann said he will be ready to return from injury in a couple weeks.

Spann will receive game checks during the time period under the injury settlement. According to a report Tuesday in the Indianapolis Star, he is an unrestricted free agent. The report also said the Colts took Spann off injured reserve Monday. Spann said he can rejoin the Colts in Week 8 if no other team signs him.

"Right now, nothing is guaranteed," Spann said. "The Colts definitely did express a lot of interest in wanting me back in Week 8, as soon as they could. They knew keeping me on injury reserved and losing me for the season is what they didn't want to do. That's why we went the settlement route. So hopefully I'll be back there in Indy."

– Ryan Wood, @rwood_DDC on Twitter,

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