Game SnapShot: Indianapolis at Miami
Indianapolis Colts (6-1) at Miami Dolphins (5-2)
2003 RANKINGS: Colts: offense 4th (25th rush, 2nd pass); defense 18th (27th rush, 10th pass). Dolphins: offense 23rd (12th rush, 26th pass); defense 11th (1st rush, 27th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME: QB Brian Griese will make his second consecutive start for Miami, and offers a stronger arm than Jay Fiedler. Several receivers were surprised how quickly the ball got to them Monday night, so they will have to make the adjustment. Colts coach Tony Dungy has not been pleased with his defense's tackling, which must improve against bruising Dolphins RB Ricky Williams. Colts QB Peyton Manning is playing at an MVP level, but the most intriguing battle will be between his receivers and Miami's corners. Dolphins CBs Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain can create game-changing turnovers, and Manning would like to set them up with the play-action pass if RB Edgerrin James is running well.
FAST FACTS: Seven of the past eight meetings have been decided by seven points or less. Colts: Dungy has started a season 6-1 for the first time as a head coach. ... James has 686 yards rushing in six career games against Miami. Dolphins: They have outscored the Colts 92-40 in the fourth quarter and overtime in the past seven meetings. ... Coach Dave Wannstedt is 5-1 vs. the Colts.
PREDICTED SCORE: Dolphins 23, Colts 20
--OT Tarik Glenn thinks that he'll be ready to go this week after missing the last two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee. Glenn has sat out the last two games and is not expected to return to practice until Friday. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday this week.
--OT Adam Meadows did not take part in Wednesday or Thursday's workout as he continues to nurse a sore knee. Meadows twisted the knee a week ago but was able play most of last week's home game with Houston. He figures to be ready to go in time for Sunday's game at Miami.
--OT Ryan Diem may not be able to resume practice until Friday. Diem only played about a quarter and a half last week against Houston due to a pulled oblique muscle. A final decision on his status will be made Friday.
--TE Dallas Clark has not practiced since last Wednesday and his status for Sunday's game will not be determined until Friday or Saturday. Clark has a pulled hamstring that he suffered a week ago and a sore foot that has been bothering him since the pre-season.
--DT Montae Reagor will miss the Miami game with a pulled chest muscle. Reagor suffered the injury while lifting weights earlier in the week.
--DT Josh Williams is expected to get the start in Reagor's spot. Williams has been a spot starter for the Colts since joining the team as a fourth-round draft pick in 2000.
--RB Ricky Williams is taking a wait-and-see attitude concerning his availability for Sunday's game at Miami. Williams missed the Houston game with a sprained ankle and has not practiced for the past two weeks.
--RB James Mungro is continuing to rehab his knee after surgery two weeks ago to repair torn cartilage in his knee. Mungro is expected to be sidelined for at least another couple of weeks.
--LB Jim Nelson's rehabilitation on his injured shoulder is on schedule. Nelson had surgery to repair a broken left clavicle and had a screw inserted into the shoulder. He was injured against Tampa Bay and was expected to be sidelined eight to 12 weeks.
--CB Cliff Crosby saw some light work on Wednesday and Thursday. He is recovering from a pulled hamstring. He is expected to play this week.
--RB Brian Allen is expected to play despite a sore knee. Allen practiced Wednesday and Thursday. He will be available to play Sunday at Miami.
--SS Cory Bird will play Sunday after injury his shoulder in practice Wednesday. Bird took part in Thursday's workout and will play Sunday.
--WR-KR Brad Pyatt is nursing a sore thigh but will play this week. He practiced Wednesday and Thursday.
--LB Marq Cerqua was taken off the Colts' practice squad and placed on the team's non-football injury list. Cerqua has been bothered by respiratory problems for the past two weeks and is currently undergoing tests at an Indianapolis hospital.
--LB Keyon Whiteside has been signed to the practice squad. Whiteside was a fifth-round pick of the Colts last spring but was released at the end of training camp. He was subsequently signed to the Cincinnati Bengals' active roster and released a week ago.
--DT Larry Chester (hamstring/quadriceps) did not practice Thursday and seems unlikely to play Sunday against Indianapolis. Dolphin's coach Dave Wannstedt said Chester, who was injured in last Monday's 26-10 victories over San Diego, would have to practice Friday for a chance to play versus the Colts.
--DT Jeff Zgonina seems likely to start Sunday's game at Indianapolis. Zgonina would replace Larry Chester, who has not practiced in two days because of hamstring and quadriceps injuries.
--T Mark Dixon could be headed toward injured reserve by Monday. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt wants to know by then whether Dixon will try to play with lingering pain in his right ankle, which has been operated on twice since August.
--QB Brian Griese reported no problems with his right thumb during Thursday's practice, Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said. Griese had his snaps reduced in Wednesday's session because of swelling from the injury, which occurred early in last Sunday's 26-10 victory over San Diego.
--QB Jay Fiedler (knee) practiced Thursday on a limited basis for a second consecutive session. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said he would not know announce until before kickoff Sunday against Indianapolis whether Fiedler will be the second- or third-string quarterback.
INSIDE THE CAMPS
Do not count veteran OT Tarik Glenn out of the Colts' game at Miami just yet.
Glenn has been sidelined for the past two games -- three weeks total counting the Colts' bye week -- as he has nursed a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He has practiced once in the past three weeks. Still, he thinks he has a chance to play.
"I'm okay. My knee feels a lot better. So we'll see what happens over the next couple of days," he said this week after going through a light workout.
One reason that Glenn would like to get back this week is the opportunity to face off against Dolphins DE Jason Taylor.
"He's a guy that I've played against for six years. We've had some good battles and I'm looking forward to playing against him this week," he said.
With his team being carried by its defense for the first half of the season, Dolphins tailback Ricky Williams admits his team's offense feels "more of a sense of urgency to get it done" entering Sunday's game against Indianapolis (6-1).
"I think balance is a key, and I think for whatever reason we were not balanced like we were last year," said Williams who has failed to produce a 100-yard rushing game in his past four outings. "I was talking to Coach (Dave Wannstedt) a couple of weeks ago and he said last year we'd run the ball 64 percent on first down. This year, we are around 75 percent. That's lack of balance."
While Norv Turner is feeling heat for what some critics perceive as predictable play-calling, Williams said the offensive coordinator "knows what he's doing."
"I was trying to look in the mirror and see what I could do better," said Williams, who is only averaging 3.4 yards on an NFL-high 184 carries. "I was looking at some negative plays. Last year at this point, I think I had eleven plays running for negative yards. This year, I have 23 and a lot of them were on first down. I think if we can do a better job on first down, whether it is doing a better job blocking and running the ball or doing a better job of being balanced, I think it will be a step in the right direction."
Playing the Colts seemingly provides an opportunity for Miami (5-2) to get its ground game back on track, as Indianapolis ranks 27th in the NFL in run defense with a 131-yard per game average.
"The (Dolphins') defense is going to have to play their best game," Williams said, referring to the Colts' high-powered offense. "We are going to have to help them out a little bit. We have to understand we cannot just wait and depend on them week in and week out. We have to take control, and this might be the week we have to do it."
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