"He doesn't look good," coach Mike Tice said. "He looks great!"
Smith hasn't played since compiling 198 yards from scrimmage in the 27-22 victory over the Bears in Week 3. He spent the next four weeks serving his NFL drug suspension.
Smith took advantage of a new rule this season that allows suspended players to continue working out and attending meetings with their team. He is a chiseled 216 pounds, and eager to play again.
Smith wasn't allowed to practice with the team, but he and assistant strength and conditioning coach Mark Ellis conducted mock game situations to simulate the action Smith likely will see Monday night.
Rookie RB Mewelde Moore is listed as probable with a sprained left ankle. He will start barring a setback, but Smith will be a big part of the offense.
Tice is excited to have Smith back, especially since WR Randy Moss is expected to be held out because of a strained right hamstring that has bothered him the past three weeks. According to Tice, Smith brings a similar attitude to the game as Moss.
"I wouldn't even say I'm rusty because I was still able to go to meetings," Smith said. "I was in there, seeing everything that everyone else was seeing from the opposing team. I didn't miss a beat."
One thing is certain. Colts coach Tony Dungy isn't about making wholesale changes on a defensive unit that is among the worst in the National Football League.
He made that abundantly clear, even after watching Indianapolis give up 45 points, 33 first downs and a whopping 590 yards in total offense in last week's 45-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to Dungy — who first made a name for himself in the NFL as a defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings in the mid-1990s and then went on to build one of the league's most dominant defensive units as the head coach in Tampa Bay — the problem with the Colts doesn't have as much to do with talent, or the lack of it, as it does with execution of the team's defensive game plan.
Indianapolis ranks 32nd in the league in total defense (418.7 yards per game) and 32nd in pass defense (305.9 yards per game). The only bright spot, statistically-speaking, has been the run defense, which is giving up just 112.9 yards.
The team's defensive lapses, which have become especially obvious in back-to-back losses to Jacksonville and the Chiefs, primarily revolve around the Colts' inability to come up with big plays in third down situations.
"If we can cut our third-down percentages from where they are now — about 50 percent — down to the mid-30s, that's the difference," Dungy said. "If you get two or three stops in a game, force the other team to punt, for us that's going to do it.
"When you have a chance to stop a team or get them in a third-and-nine, you have to make those count. That's what we haven't been doing."
With a high-powered Minnesota Vikings offense coming to the RCA Dome Monday night, the Colts don't have a lot of time to make wholesale changes.
"We just have to play better than we have been. We have to cut out the mistakes that we've been making. We have to settle in with what we're supposed to be doing and just play," said fourth-year free safety Idrees Bashir.
"We know that we haven't played well, especially the last couple of weeks. We've talked about it as a defense and we've talked about it as a team. We just have to play better."