Colts Lose Doss, Need Help at Safety

With Bob Sanders expected to return to the lineup this weekend against Denver, it looked like the Colts would have to make a tough decision between starting rookie Antoine Bethea or veteran Mike Doss next to him. But not anymore...

The Indianapolis Colts announced the safety Mike Doss will miss the rest of the 2006 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during Sunday's victory over the Redskins.

Over the past four games while Bob Sanders has been sidelined with a knee injury, Doss has made 29 tackles, including 16 solo efforts. He also had two quarterback pressures and two interceptions during that stretch.

The loss of Doss leaves just one backup safety on the roster behind starters Bob Sanders and Antoine Bethea. Second-year player Matt Giordano has seen some limited playing time this season on defense and has primarily been used on special teams. But it was obvious during training camp and in preseason games that he had really progressed at the position since his rookie year.

The team needs at least four players on the depth chart at safety, so look for them to add a player quickly unless they consider converting a current cornerback to safety. But it's more likely that they will add one of the safeties who were in their training camp this summer who are currently looking for work since they are already familiar with the defensive scheme and system.

Possible candidates could include Dexter Reid, who has worked out for quite a few teams over the past few weeks and made eight game appearances for the Colts during the 2005 season. Another option would be Jammal Lord, a former Texan who was impressive in his preseason work for the Colts despite joining the team late when they were banged up at the safety position early in August. The Colts could even look at Von Hutchins, who is primarily a cornerback, but who got some work at safety this summer. He has appeared in 19 games for the Colts during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Waine Bacon would be another option the team could explore. The former Colts safety made 11 game appearances during the 2004 season and also made some plays during the 2006 preseason for Indianapolis prior to his release.

A longshot candidate would be former Colt Joseph Jefferson, who showed the ability to play the position capably, but was dogged by injuries during his four-year tenure with Indianapolis.

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