Colts enjoy 2nd-latest bye in 15 years

Team will recharge during bye weekend, same as the New England Patriots, who visit Lucas Oil Stadium for next game.

Time for the guys to get away from football. And “bye,” as in a long-awaited bye week, means not sharing plans.

“What’s my plan?” quarterback Andrew Luck said Tuesday. “I don’t want to give away my plan. I’ll get out of town for a little bit and relax.”

Rest assured, the Indianapolis Colts will enjoy some relaxation in one of the latest bye weeks the franchise has had in recent years. The only other time in 15 years that they’ve had a bye this month was Nov. 20, 2011. Nine times the bye came in October and three times in September.

“You certainly have a plan on how to approach the bye week,” Luck said. “I think you do have to get away. Not to say you go sit on a couch and watch a bunch of college football and NFL games. But there is a reason it’s a bye and that’s to rest and rejuvenate. But at the same time, I don’t think you can let your mind wander too far off realizing you’ve got the New England Patriots coming into town a couple weeks from now.”

Ah yes, the next game. New England at Lucas Oil Stadium in primetime on Nov. 16. How could we forget?

But that’s just what many players will try to do. The game and its preparation will be there when the Colts report back to the complex on Monday.

“Well-deserved time off,” said 12th-year defensive end Cory Redding. “I didn’t think this week would ever get here. I thought we were going to play all 16 games with no rest, but here it is, we’re 6-3 and that’s all that matters.”

The older players like Redding know the routine well.

“Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to take full advantage of all the active rest I can,” Redding said. “You never want to just sit down on your butt the whole time. You want to get up, move around and do something. I’m going to definitely take advantage of it.”

The Colts will enjoy the time off more because it comes after a 40-24 road win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

“What greater stage to play on besides the big one in February we’re shooting for,” Redding said. “But Monday Night Football, it doesn’t get any better than that. The whole world was watching and we had a chance to go out and right every wrong we had last (game). What a performance we had. We gave up a few mishaps on the backend but we did some good things and we got the win.”

Second-year outside linebacker Bjoern Werner admits he’ll enjoy the time off more after a win. The Patriots (7-2) also have a bye week after routing Denver 43-21 at home.

“It makes it way more fun,” Werner said. “It’s a lot more fun going into the bye week with a win. It’s going to be a great matchup with the Patriots. They go into the bye week with a great win, too. It will be exciting. Both teams have two weeks to prepare for each other and it’s going to be a great showdown on Sunday Night Football.”

Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois uttered a familiar refrain about the bye week coming at a perfect time.

“It gives us time for a second to get away from football, but not really get away from it,” he said. “More time in the training room, more time in film study, more time breaking things down with coaches, asking coaches what we can get better at with our positions. This came at a perfect time for everybody.”

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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