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Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 31, 2012 – 8:43 am

At times Colts nose tackle Josh Chapman seems to be the forgotten man in the 2012 rookie class.

While half dozen rookies have dominated the headlines on the offensive side of the ball for the Colts, Chapman is slowly beginning to garner a little attention of his own.

The 316-pound nose tackle returned to the practice field last week for the first time in a Colts uniform and interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians liked what he saw.

“Josh had a real good week of practice last week. He’s got two more weeks before we have to activate him and we’ll see how he does in pads again this week,” Arians said on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show’ with ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey.

Chapman had surgery to repair a torn ACL following the University of Alabama capturing the 2012 National Title in January.

The ACL was torn on Oct. 1, 2011, but Chapman elected to play through the injury the rest of the season in hoping to win his second National Title in three seasons.

“He’s learning to play on two legs again,” Arians said. “That’s a hard thing to get your mind re-trained after playing on one leg for a season. We’re not going to rush him too fast. When he’s ready, he’s going to play.”

When selected back in April, Chapman talked about the importance of the nose tackle position in the 3-4 hybrid defense and loves to ‘keep his linebackers clean’ by occupying multiple blockers.

Arians called Chapman ‘a classic nose guard’ that can take up space and impact the offense whether it’s a run or pass.

“He’s a powerful run stopper,” Arians said. “He can also push the middle of the pocket as a pass rusher. He’s as thick and as wide as you want him to be.”

“He’s the natural guy in there. We just want to make sure he’s healthy for the long haul.”

Along with Chapman, the Colts other pick in the fifth round was running back Vick Ballard.

For the past couple of days, Ballard has been in the spotlight after his spectacular leaping touchdown to give the Colts a 19-13 overtime victory over the Titans.

Ballard’s fellow fifth round pick is itching to get back on the field and Arians believes the injury is the lone reason Chapman fell in the draft.

“There’s no doubt that had he been healthy he probably would have been a second rounder,” Arians said. “With his knee, and having to have surgery after the season, we felt like we got a steal. Now that he’s healthy, you’re looking at a second, third round talent guy that we got later.”

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