Colts hoping for healthier DBs in San Diego
If a team suffers several injuries at one position, it's usually a death blow.
But the Colts have done excellent work the last three weeks, beating New England (12th rated passing offense), Pittsburgh (18th) and Houston (fifth) without their two starting cornerbacks. Marlin Jackson is out for the season and Kelvin Hayden has missed six games with a hamstring injury. Another corner, Dante Hughes, was out against the Patriots, and strong safety Bob Sanders missed the Texans game.
Next up is San Diego and the league's No. 7 passing attack led by Philip Rivers, the league's second-rated passer (100.8).
"He's very, very decisive with what he wants to do," coach Tony Dungy said of Rivers. "He has a better chemistry with some of those young receivers. [Vincent] Jackson is having an outstanding year. It looks like, in the last few weeks, [Antonio] Gates is getting back to where we're used to seeing him. They have a lot of weaponry, but he's been more decisive and making really, really good decisions."
Here are Dungy's assessment on the status of the injured defensive backs and wide receiver Reggie Wayne:
"It's going to be one of those situations where we're going to have to monitor his practice time and hopefully have him practice enough to be sharp and not so much that his knee swells and hopefully have him all year. We're trying to find that right mix. We'll see how it goes, but that's the hope. He's not going to have a full practice week, but hopefully his swelling is down enough where he'll be able to play on Sunday. It's probably going to be that way the rest of the year."
"Kelvin is recovering. His hamstring is getting better and better, so we'll have to see how he does. [WR] Reggie [Wayne] is kind of in the same boat. He has ankles that have been rolled up and knees that have been rolled up. Reggie didn't practice much the last two weeks, and we had just the right amount of practice time for him to be sharp but be able to play. I think Bob's going to be that way. It's a little easier to do with veteran guys, so we'll see what happens."
Hayden and Sanders did not practice Wednesday.