On the spot: Edgerrin James

SportsEdgerrin JamesNFL PreseasonTerrell DavisDominic RhodesPeyton ManningEddie George

All the running backs in the AFC South have something to prove, none more than Edgerrin James. After James had reconstructive knee surgery Nov. 24, the Colts brought him along slowly in the exhibition season with the expectation that last year's 1,100-yard replacement, Dominic Rhodes, could help carry the load.

With Rhodes now out for the season with a knee injury, the Colts are counting on James to be ready for full-time duty on opening day, a lot to ask less than 10 months after his left knee was rebuilt.

The Titans' Eddie George and the Jaguars' Fred Taylor are further along in their rehabilitations because neither had injuries as severe as James'. Texans running back James Allen grew familiar with challenges in Chicago.

A workhorse who led the league in rushing his first two seasons, James is indispensable to the Colts. Besides carrying from scrimmage 756 times his first two years, James found time to catch 125 passes from Peyton Manning.

Though James showed no signs of setback early in camp, he also rarely went full speed and has yet to demonstrate he can resume the weekly pounding. The unfortunate specter of Denver's Terrell Davis, who was never the same after knee surgery, hangs over James until he shows otherwise.

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