After a three-day break in their practice schedule, the Indianapolis Colts returned to the practice field Monday with their sights set on this week’s big divisional showdown with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts, with the AFC’s second-best record at 9-2, have a one-game lead in the division race. A win would give Tony Dungy’s team a sweep in the home-and-home series with the Jaguars and give Indianapolis a pretty good cushion in its hunt for a fifth straight AFC South title. A loss, however, would put Jacksonville (8-3) in a virtual tie for the division lead with four weeks remaining in the regular season.

Not long after Sunday’s 36-14 win over Buffalo, Jaguars running back Fred Taylor looked ahead to his team’s upcoming meeting with the Colts and referred to the game as the “championship” of the AFC South. Dungy agrees with Taylor’s assessment of the situation.

“Well, it is a big game. I mean you have to look at it that way. I think they’ve got to feel like if they don’t win this game, they’re going to have a tough time winning the division. We’ve got the tiebreaker edge right now. If we beat them, we’ll have a sweep and it will be very tough for them,” the Colts coach said.

“So I think they’ve got to look at it that way. We have to understand that is the way they’re looking at it. And we’ve got to play the same way.”

Indianapolis had a brief practice on Monday, with the real work set to begin on Wednesday.

It’s not yet known if any of the team’s injured players — such as Pro Bowl wide receiver Marvin Harrison — will be able to take part in any of this week’s workouts. He has missed six of the past seven games with a bruised left knee.

“We’re hoping that Marvin will be back and ready to go in practice. And if he’s able to do that and play, it’s going to be a big lift to us. We’ll see how that goes. Some of the guys that were a little bit banged up, we still don’t know that much more,” Dungy said.

“We anticipate getting [safety] Matt Giordano back, [linebacker] Tyjuan Hagler we’re not sure. Our offensive linemen, [tackles] Ryan Diem and Charlie Johnson particularly, we’re not sure on that either. Time will tell. I think Wednesday’s practice we’ll have a good idea of who’s going to be able to play.”

Giordano has been sidelined for four of the past five games with a strained hamstring. Hagler, meanwhile, continues to nurse a neck injury and has missed the last four games. Diem did not play at Atlanta and saw limited work against Kansas City after incurring an ankle injury against San Diego three weeks ago.

Johnson is also rehabbing a sore ankle, which has limited his effectiveness for the past three weeks. Rookie offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, who has not played since he incurred a neck injury against the Jaguars six weeks ago, could also make a return to the starting lineup.

Getting some of those players back will help Dungy and his coaching staff reestablish some much needed consistency to the team’s pregame practice routine.

“I think our whole team is at that point, where we aren’t as sharp as we need to be because we haven’t been together and haven’t been practicing as much and as well as we need to. Again, hopefully we can get that straightened out in December,” he said.

“You always want to be playing your best football in December and January. Really, in the first part of the year, you’re putting yourself into position. Last year, we got off to a great start. We weren’t playing our best football in November and December. We got a little bit healthier in January, started playing better and it turned out well for us. I think our team really feels like we’re sitting at 9-2 and we haven’t probably played our best football maybe since the [first] Jacksonville game.”

• Game balls — Rookie wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (offense), second-year weak safety Antoine Bethea (defense) and rookie linebacker Clint Session (special teams) earned game balls for the Thanksgiving night win at Atlanta.

Gonzalez caught six passes for a career-high 105 yards. Bethea forced one fumble on a pass breakup and added three total tackles. Session, meanwhile, had one special teams tackle for the Colts.

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