The Colts are hopeful that rookie wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez will be back in the lineup for Thursday night's game against the Falcons. And the timing couldn't be better.
With wide receiver Aaron Moorehead added to the growing injured reserved list due to a back problem, the Colts are running out of wide receivers.
Head coach Tony Dungy said this week that the Colts haven't been able to get the full benefit out of their talented wide receivers this year due to the rash of injuries. Their one healthy receiver, Reggie Wayne, has been called on to be even more versatile than ever before to help fill the gaps.
"We are (moving him around more), just out of necessity, and we're doing things because of only having certain receivers up and not enough receivers, not enough tight ends," Dungy said. "I think we'd all be happy if Reggie could be back on the left and Marvin on the right and Anthony (Gonzalez) in the slot with Dallas (Clark). But it hasn't been that way but maybe one or two games this year."
In other injury news, offensive tackles Ryan Diem (ankle), Daniel Federkeil (concussion), safety Matt Giordano (hamstring), and cornerback Tim Jennings (leg) missed practice on Tuesday. Tackle Charlie Johnson, safety Bob Sanders and guard Ryan Lilja were all head out based on the team's decision. Sanders and Lilja have been periodically taking a practice off each week due to old injuries and are expected to play. I spoke to Johnson on Tuesday night for an exclusive interview that will be published here at ColtPower.com on Wednesday evening, and he didn't give any indication that his injury was much of a problem at this point or that he wouldn't be available for action. The biggest issue for Johnson is more likely whether he'll be needed on the left side for Tony Ugoh, who the Colts are also hoping will be ready for Thursday, or possibly on the right side for Diem.
Both wide receiver Marvin Harrison (knee) and weakside linebacker Tyjuan Hagler (neck) saw some limited action on Tuesday. Hagler indicated to me last weekend that he was coming along well and planned to be ready for Thursday's game barring a setback.
Marvin Harrison and Denver's Champ Bailey
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
A Non-Denial Denial?
Did Marvin Harrison have arthroscopic knee surgery?
That was a rumor that was making the rounds, and according to Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star in his Wednesday column, here's what head coach Tony Dungy had to say in response to that question:
"I hadn't heard that one. I heard probably career over, never be able to get back. I heard that we're saving him for the playoffs. But I hadn't heard the surgery one. They probably all have as much merit."
If that was Dungy's entire response on the matter, what you may have just read was what's known in some circles as a "non-denial denial."
Dungy's statement infers that the rumor isn't true, but he clearly doesn't deny that it's true.
"They probably all have as much merit," is such a fuzzy phrase. Why not say, "None of them have any merit"? Or even better, just say, "No, Marvin hasn't had any surgery." The insertion of the word "probably" in that sentence makes an already vague statement even murkier.
To those paying attention, the answer seems to indicate that Harrison has had minor surgery. But it's likely that the highly-private receiver has requested that his medical condition and any procedures not be discussed publicly, putting Dungy in a bit of a bind since he has a reputation as a highly truthful and trustworthy individual.
The solution for both men? A non-denial denial.
Not that it's a big deal either way. Fans have seen players come back from arthroscopic knee surgery in roughly two weeks or less. So it shouldn't impact his playing career. And if he needed to have the knee cleaned out a bit, it could even benefit him over the long haul in the coming seasons. And it's an honorable way for Tony Dungy to respect the privacy of his players on a matter that truly isn't anyone's business.
Bottom line, whether it's just a bruise or a problem that required him to have his knee scoped, I think all people want to see is Marvin Harrison catching passes again — and as soon as possible.
Did you know?
Running back Joseph Addai hasn't fumbled through the first nine games of the season. The offense's eight fumbles to date were coughed up by: Peyton Manning (4), Ben Utecht (2), Kenton Keith (1), and Reggie Wayne (1). The Colts lost possession on just three of those fumbles.
Marvin Harrison has missed four games this season already due to his knee injury. He's now only failed to appear in all 16 games in a regular season four times during his 16-year career. And until this season, he had only failed to appear in a total of six games. He missed four games during Peyton Manning's rookie season in 1998 due to a separated shoulder, and one game each during 2003 (hamstring) and 2005 (hand).