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Originally published October 4, 2009 at 5:39 PM | Page modified October 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM

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Colts pay tribute to Edgerrin James in his return to Indianapolis

The running back was greeted with a huge ovation the first time he carried the ball, and later with a video montage of some of his highlights when he played for the Colts.

Seattle Times staff reporter

INDIANAPOLIS — Edgerrin James couldn't help it.

In what was an otherwise glum Seahawks locker room following a 34-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, James flashed a few wide smiles as he thought about an afternoon he said would be one of the more memorable of his career.

James spent the first seven years of what will be a Hall of Fame career with the Colts before leaving following the 2005 season as a free agent and signing with Arizona. Now in his first season with the Seahawks, Sunday was his first game in Indianapolis since leaving town, and he was greeted with a huge ovation the first time he carried the ball, and later with a video montage of some of his Colts' highlights to more applause.

"I'll always look back on this day," he said of a game in which he gained just 16 yards on four carries. "This day right here will always be special to me."

Among the highlights shown of James was a long run against the Seahawks at Husky Stadium in 2000, a day when he gained a career-high 219 yards.

"A lot of guys on this team didn't know I could move like that," said James, who is the leading career rusher in Colts' history with 9,226 yards.

One who did was former teammate Peyton Manning.

"I got a little choked up watching that highlight tape today," said Manning. "I have never forgotten how great he was. Truly use the word great, not just good."

James, signed after the Seahawks let go of T.J. Duckett, has just 59 yards on 21 carries this season and at age 31, is nearing the end of his career.

But standing 11th on the all-time rushing list with 12,180 yards, he said he'd like to keep moving up those rankings before calling it quits. Asked if he saw the ring of honor and envisioned his name being on there, he said "not just yet. I've got to play a little bit more. Got to move up that chart a little bit more."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

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