Former NIU running back Chad Spann, who was signed by the Indianapolis Colts during the offseason, has been placed on the team's injured reserve list for two weeks.
Spann said he sustained a sprained hamstring during the first quarter of the Colts' last preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I played through the injury after it happened and my performance in that game helped me make the team," Spann said. "It wasn't until the next day that I found out I had sprained it".
Spann said team doctors told him he would be out for two to four weeks, something that the injury-riddled Colts can ill afford at this point.
"Even with the bad news, I made the team," Spann said. "However, only 46 players can dress, and only 47 can practice. [The Colts] have so many guys out right now with injuries that they said they needed to place me on the [injured reserve] and sign someone to be a body in camp".
Spann was placed on injured reserve and came to an injury settlement agreement with the Colts. This agreement stipulates that Spann can rehab as a member of the Colts for two weeks, after which he becomes a free agent for six weeks.
During this period, Spann said he can be signed by another team, and after the six week period, the Colts will be allowed to resign him.
"It's not the worst news," Spann said. "It shows they want me on the team instead of just leaving me up for grabs."
Spann said his versatile ability to run and catch the ball has made him confident that he will see the field this year as a professional, but it has been intimidating being around all-pro athletes.
"I worked with Peyton Manning. He did a lot of work with the younger running backs. I've worked with Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garçon, a lot of guys," Spann said. "At first it was intimidating. I grew up in Indiana so these guys have been my heroes, but you have to get over that intimidation very quickly if you want to play in this league."
Spann said he is back in Illinois, busy trying to get healthy at his rehab facility in Deerfield.