James should return for Colts, others on offense likely out

Updated: October 24, 2003, 8:02 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Edgerrin James is ready to return after a three-game absence, but the Indianapolis Colts will likely be without offensive tackles Tarik Glenn and Adam Meadows and tight end Dallas Clark for Sunday's game with the Houston Texans.

James was expected to start for the Colts (5-1) after not playing since he suffered a lower back injury Sept. 21 against Jacksonville.

"The back feels a lot better, but since I haven't played for four weeks I might need a breather now and then," James said Friday. "But that would be only thing.

James said he would not push himself too much in his return.

"It's sort of like starting the season over again," he said. "You have to realistic with everything. You can't try and go out there and try to be Superman."

Colts coach Tony Dungy said the team would have plenty of help for the two-time NFL rushing champ against the Texans (2-4).

"I think he is ready to go and ready to play the whole game," Dungy said. "We'll monitor him and watch him. But on the crucial plays, he'll be in there."

James did not plan to wear any type of brace to protect his back during Sunday's game.

"I'm going to have a pad on, but it's a rare injury," he said. "It's hard for somebody to actually hit you there. I guess that you just have some bad luck like mine."

Meanwhile, Glenn, who had his 101-game consecutive start streak snapped two weeks ago, has practiced just once over the past three weeks because of a sprained left knee.

Meadows, who twisted his right knee during a pre-practice walkthrough on Wednesday, and Clark (hamstring) both missed practices on Thursday and Friday.

"My sense is that we have to plan to be without them and then if they can play it would be a plus," Dungy said.

Should Glenn be unable to play Sunday, rookie Makoa Freitas would likely make his second straight start at left offensive tackle. Joe Dean Davenport was expected to play one of the Colts' two tight end spots if Clark was not available.

Cornerback Cliff Crosby also was expected to miss Sunday's game as he as been unable to practice since suffering a pulled groin against Carolina two weeks ago.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index