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Harrison's Return Could Dictate Everything

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The best chance for the Cleveland Browns to make the postseason this year will have to stem from several quick strikes from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning from anywhere between one series and one half. Today, the IndyStar had some reports/rumors as to how the Colts will play this Sunday:

Marvin Harrison May Dictate Manning's Time:

He says he doesn't know if receiver Marvin Harrison will be back this week. Old No. 88 has missed nine in a row and 10 of 11, but Dungy held out hope Harrison could return to practice. And, as an added Christmas bonus, if Harrison does return, that means Peyton Manning may get to play a little more, he said.

This is definitely the biggest factor of all. It wouldn't be ideal for Harrison to have his first live game action since the beginning of the season come in the postseason. Also, I'd doubt that Harrison and Manning would be able to accomplish everything they'd want to accomplish in just one series.

Joseph Addai May Not be Worth Playing:

That Dungy didn't specifically say running back Joseph Addai would play leads me to believe he won't. Addai took a shot to what looked like the upper back area and the Colts played it safe and sat him in the second quarter.

I don't expect Addai to play, quite simply because they have already given backup running back Kenton Keith enough snaps this season to the point where he is well acclimated with how things are run. On top of that, the Colts know that the Titans can stop the run very well with Albert Haynesworth anchoring the line and could be more apt to taking quick strikes down the field. After all -- the chemistry the Colts would be worried about losing would involve their passing game, not their running game.

Rookie Anthony Gonzalez to Stay Hot:

Rookie receiver Anthony Gonzalez wants to play and the doctors have told Dungy he should be able to go, but the coach wants to see him practice. Tight end Ben Utecht (shoulder) is not expected to play.

The more the merrier if Gonzalez looks "ok" in practice this week. Obviously not having Utecht play is a negative, but better him than Dallas Clark.

Antoine Bethea and Robert Mathis (Two Series):

Safety Antoine Bethea and defensive end Robert Mathis are expected to play some this week to get their timing back. Don't expect them to be on the field for too much game action - Dungy threw out a general estimate, ideally speaking, of 15 plays.

Neither Bethea nor Mathis have played since Week 14. 15 plays would equate to either one very long drive, or two average-length drives. Bethea has four interceptions this season and Mathis is the Colts' best pass rusher with Dwight Freeney out for the season. Having either of these guys available for the start of the game could be key in giving the Colts a larger cushion before the backups come in.