"That's a possibility, but again, it's day-to-day," coach Frank Reich said. "It's too early to project that. We're optimistic. He's making progress and feeling good. ... Jabaal is the guy who is the ultimate pro. He's going to do whatever it takes. Because he's had the procedure on his knee that we have to take it slow and be cautious and make sure we have Jabaal for the long haul."
Sheard hasn't practiced since the first day of training camp on July 25. He has 102 tackles and 11 sacks while starting all 32 games during his two seasons with the Colts.
"The leadership that he brings to the defensive line room is just tremendous," Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said. "His work ethic, I am talking about the day-to-day grind -- I don't think the guy missed practice. He didn't miss a game. The guy was in there all the time. So just a grinder type guy that we stand for. ... He's still in the room and still leading those guys in terms of talking to them, working with the fundamentals, taking them on to the side, techniques and all those things."
Al-Quadin Muhammad has been working with the starting unit in Sheard's absence.
The Colts open the season at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 8.