INDIANAPOLIS — Colts running back Donald Brown waited patiently for a chance to start this season.
When he finally did, Brown delivered.
The strong, silent running back who spent 4½ seasons trying to break through finally did Sunday, rushing for 46 of his 54 yards on the Colts' final drive and scoring Indy's only touchdown in a 22-14 victory over Tennessee that put them on the verge of an eighth AFC South title in 11 years.
"I knew regardless of what happened, my number would get called in some form or fashion," Brown said Monday. "When it is, you just make the most of it."
Coach Chuck Pagano was so impressed with Brown's effort that he said Monday that Brown would start again this weekend when the AFC South-leading Colts (8-4) visit AFC North-leading Cincinnati (8-4) — a pivotal game for playoff seeding.
Brown has seen just about everything in his 4½ seasons in the league.
As a rookie, he was part of a team chasing perfection on its way to an AFC title. Two years ago, he endured the ignominy of an 0-13 start and the chase of imperfection. Last year, he was part of the second-greatest turnaround in league history, and now the Colts are one win, or one Titans loss, away from clinching their eighth division crown in 11 years.
But for most of that time, Brown has watched those things happened — and this season has been no different.
When starting running back Vick Ballard went down with a season-ending knee injury after the season opener, Indy turned to offseason acquisition Ahmad Bradshaw. When Bradshaw was lost with a season-ending neck injury after Week 3, the newly acquired Trent Richardson inherited the job even though he was still learning the offense. And as Richardson's struggles continued and the patience of fans waned, the Colts continued to make Brown the change-of-pace guy.