It's a long way from competing on game day.
"Of course, there's frustration because you want to be out there, and I'm not going to say it's done (this week) yet," Freeney said. "I want to be out there."
A typical quad injury keeps players out two to four weeks, but Freeney isn't willing to accept that prognosis just yet. Instead, the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end and former NFL sacks champion provided the Colts' new standard answer, saying he was day to day even though he missed Wednesday's practice.
The Colts also are leery about setting a timetable for Freeney's return, partly because of his previous injury history.
"We're just not quite certain how long exactly it will take him," coach Jim Caldwell said. "He's always been a quick healer."
Caldwell isn't waiting to make contingency plans. If Freeney can't play Sunday, veteran defensive lineman Raheem Brock will move into the starting lineup opposite Robert Mathis, another Pro Bowl defensive end.
Brock has played end and tackle for the Colts, making 96 starts over the past eight seasons. This season, Brock primarily has been used in the standup position, moving around the line to give opponents different looks.
"Yeah, I'm in the starting lineup," Brock said. "They (injuries) are part of the game. You've got to go out and pick it up, especially with Dwight out."
Caldwell said opponents also might see more of Eric Foster and Keyunta Dawson, last year's starting defensive tackles, on the outside and perhaps linebacker Philip Wheeler, who played defensive end after Freeney was hurt late in the third quarter of last Sunday's road victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Dawson sat out Wednesday's practice because of a foot injury.
Another problem for the Colts -- defensive depth. In addition to Freeney, middle linebacker Gary Brackett, safety Bob Sanders and cornerback Kelvin Hayden -- all starters -- could miss Sunday's game, too.
All three missed the victory over the Cardinals, and none practiced Wednesday, though Brackett (sprained knee) and Hayden (hamstring) also have said they are day to day. Sanders, who had offseason knee surgery, hasn't practiced since training camp began in August.
Indianapolis isn't likely to rush any of the starters back into action.
"Being a player, you want to get out and compete, and right now, things just are not clicking," Hayden said after re-injuring his left hamstring. "I was not 100 percent, but I think I was pretty close before this happened. Hamstrings linger with you the whole season, so you have to be smart about it."
The schedule could wind up helping the Colts, though. They host Seattle (1-2), which has had its own injury issues along the offensive line, then visit winless Tennessee -- a game that could give the Colts the early inside track to reclaiming the AFC South title. Then Indianapolis has a bye.
So if Freeney does miss three weeks, he could be back for the Colts' trip to St. Louis on Oct. 25. Or sooner if Freeney has his way.
"I'm walking fine, but you can't walk on the field," he said. "So I'll do the rehab and see how it feels. If it doesn't happen this week, it doesn't happen.
"Every day, I wake up and hope it's going to be today. If it's not, I'm going to think it will be tomorrow, and if it's not tomorrow, then I think it'll be the next day. We'll just have to see."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press