According to team reports, an MRI revealed a second-degree strain to James' left hamstring, which indicates a partial tear. He jogged through a light workout late Monday, but his availability for the Colts home opener vs. the Packers is in serious doubt.
Colts' coach Tony Dungy told the Indianapolis Star the running back's status depends on whether "he can do the things it takes to play the game."
If James cannot go, Dominic Rhodes will make his first start since 2001. Rhodes has a history of taking an opportunity and running with it. As an unknown RB in '01, he stepped in after James' season-ending knee injury, started the final 10 games and rushed for 1,104 yards. That's a record for an undrafted rookie.
The Colts are used to the drill. James missed two games in 2002 after partially tearing his right hamstring. He missed three games last season after fracturing three bones in his lower back.
But just because their used to it doesn't mean the Colts like life without James. Indianpolis is 46-21 with their star RB in the lineup, but just 6-9 without him.
The possibility that he'll miss the Packers game is magnified by his outstanding start. The sixth-year pro has rushed for 266 yards so far, second only to Curtis Martin of the Jets with 315. Green Bay's Ahman Green is right there, with 247 yards through two games.