That’s the story from Indianapolis Star reporter Mike Chappell. He reports that Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney will be out at least two weeks with an injured right quad.
Colts head coach James Caldwell was a bit less forthcoming concerning his star defensive end, saying that the injury is a day-to-day issue for Freeney. Rahaeem Brock would replace Freeney in the starting lineup.
The Colts might be down four starters total on defense against the Hawks on Sunday. Safety Bob Sanders has not played this season, still rehabilitating from off-season knee surgery, and is not expected to play on Sunday.
Defensive captain, middle linebacker Gary Brackett (knee) and cornerback Kelvin Hayden (hamstring) also could miss Sunday’s game.
Caldwell talked about the team’s injury situation and the transition for him taking over as head coach for Tony Dungy in this audio clip.
One of the strategies teams have employed against the Colts over the years is to try and run a ball-control offense in order to keep the ball away from Payton Manning and the team’s high-powered offense.
The Miami Dolphins, using the Wildcat offense, was very successful in doing that two weeks ago against the Colts, holding the ball for over 45 minutes, compared to just under 15 minutes for the Colts, and rushing for 239 yards. However, the Colts still rallied to win the game 27-23.
Caldwell said the strategy forces his team to be very efficient offensively.
“There’s been a number of games that we’ve been in where teams, particularly over the last, few years, teams have tried to implement that kind of strategy to keep the ball out of the hands of our offense, and have done it rather successfully.
“So what it makes us do is have to be extremely efficient and near perfect on offense, which is tough to do in this league, because it can’t be done consistently that you’re going to score points every single time you have the ball. But we were able to do that offensively against them, and it was a very difficult task.”
Asked about Manning’s trademark hand motions, and how much is used to signal to the rest of the team play adjustments and how much is a decoy, Caldwell had this to say:
“It’s kind of like a third-base coach,” he said. “It’s a little bit a both, and it just depends on the situation.”